California Article

Opinion: With California In The Spotlight, Housing Should Take Center Stage

Opinion: With California In The Spotlight, Housing Should Take Center Stage

NMHC President Doug Bibby previews what he would like to see discussed during the next presidential primary debate.

Thursday night is the last primary debate of 2019 for Democrats vying for the presidency, and to this point in the race, we’ve heard only sparing mentions of housing policy from those who want the country’s top job.

What better place than the debate stage in Los Angeles – a city at the epicenter of the housing affordability crisis – for a full-throated conversation about the problem and real solutions to bring relief to millions of Americans feeling squeezed by rising housing prices?

California’s population has exploded by 6.2 percent since 2010, with 6.5 million Californians calling apartments home. That level of demand has meant that, without adequate supply, more people on the margins are struggling to afford to put a roof over their head. Statewide, 76 percent of extremely low-income renters are stuck paying more than half of their income on housing.

The people described above are California Super Tuesday voters, who will have a great deal to say about who the Democratic nominee is in 2020. They deserve to hear where candidates stand on an issue that impacts them directly and that touches every American community. Do candidates support serious, commonsense policies that will reverse this unaffordability trend, or will they throw their weight behind pie-in-the-sky ideas like rent control that may seem good in a sound bite but will unfortunately only make the crisis worse?

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