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Tom Steyer’s Plan will Create 3.5 Million Units of Affordable Housing

On the heels of his second debate stage appearance, Steyer calls for investing $625 billion over ten years for affordable housing programs  

(SAN FRANCISCO, November 25, 2019) –– Today, Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer released his Affordable Housing plan to address decades of inequality in America’s housing market. The plan is geared to create more opportunities for low and middle-income families and combat our nation’s homelessness crisis. Steyer’s plan will invest more than $625 billion over ten years in existing housing programs, create 3.5 million units of affordable housing, and mobilize an additional $600 billion to foster climate-smart cities and affordable housing.

Steyer’s plan will direct $156 billion into previously red-lined neighborhoods to begin to right historic inequalities, and end Veteran Homelessness within 5 years. To green America’s housing stock, Steyer’s plan will ensure by 2030 that all new residential buildings are 100% carbon-neutral, and will retrofit all housing stock to be 100% carbon-neutral, including public housing, by 2045.

During Steyer’s second Democratic debate stage appearance, he was asked about his vision for resolving the growing housing and homelessness crisis in America.

“When you look at inequality in the United States of America, you have to start with housing. Where you put your head at night determines so many things about your life. It determines where your kids go to school, the quality of air you breathe, where you shop, how long it takes to get to work.” said Steyer

Steyer’s plan builds on his experience tackling the affordable housing crisis through Beneficial State Bank, the community bank he and his wife, Kat Taylor founded. Further, it addresses decades of corporate greed in the housing industry, which has seen big banks and predatory developers prey on consumers to keep rents sky-high while building developments to only benefit their own selfish interests at the expense of working Americans.

The Affordable Housing plan will ensure that safe and affordable housing is available to everyone living in America. To improve and increase the supply of affordable housing, Steyer’s plan will:

  • Spur construction and renovation of affordable housing by investing $47 billion per year and expanding the low-income housing tax credit
  • Expand Housing Choice Voucher program to all who qualify and provide rent relief to low and middle-income families through a new renters tax credit
  • Fight unjust gentrification by strengthening tenant protections and funding community projects that work towards equitable local economic development, affordable housing, transit-oriented development, disaster resilience, and infrastructure

The rising cost of housing puts many working-class Americans on the brink of homelessness. To combat homelessness, Steyer’s plan will:

  • Invest $8 billion in Homeless Assistance Grants and Case Management Services
  • Empower and improve coordination with state and local governments
  • End veteran homelessness by expanding access and increasing funding to the HUD-VASH program

We must confront our nation’s history of racist housing policies that have barred communities of color from accessing wealth-building opportunities. To build family wealth for all Americans, Steyer will:

  • Encourage densification that grows individual and family equity, particularly in historically disenfranchised communities
  • Implement public service down payment assistance loan program
  • Reinforce the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect against predatory landlords, mobile home loan programs, and racial discrimination in the mortgage system

Thoughtful housing reform is paramount to solving our climate crisis, and the buildings we live in and the urban design of our communities matters. To develop climate-smart communities, Steyer will:

  • Green America’s housing stock by ensuring that 100% of new residential buildings are zero-carbon buildings by 2030 and that 100% of existing residential stock is retrofitted to zero-carbon buildings by 2045
  • Mobilize $195 billion for clean affordable housing and communities, urban parks and greenspace and issue $250 billion over the course of ten years in new National Health Communities Climate Bonds to promote climate-smart planning
  • Incentivize local governments to prioritize climate-smart growth by directing up to $650 billion in federal and private investment in transportation projects

Steyer recognizes the urgent need to break the corporate stranglehold over our housing market, so we can finally enact reforms needed to make our housing market thrive and work for every American. Our housing market must move beyond shutting out working families so that everyone –– regardless of their circumstances –– has a roof over their head.