The Biggest 2020 Issue That the Democratic Debates Missed
The last time housing emerged as a major campaign issue was during the real estate crash of 2008
In major cities, rising housing costs and a lack of new low-income housing have contributed to a spike in homelessness. But it’s not only the poor who are feeling the pinch. Affordability concerns are filtering upward to middle class and even relatively affluent families, who complain they’re being shut out of job-rich metropolitan areas, NBC News reports.
“With any kind of major issue in our country, it’s when it hits the middle class that policymakers start paying attention,” Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told NBC News. “That’s certainly the case now.”
The 2020 field has taken notice. Top-tier contenders, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and former Housing Secretary Julián Castro, have released detailed plans promising to provide new aid to renters and encourage more housing development.
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The issue still hasn’t quite had its breakout moment nationally; it came up only in passing during the first two Democratic debates. But with a rise in activism already pushing candidates to get ahead of the issue, its time in the spotlight seems inevitable.