30 Issues: Housing

President Bush’s plan for housing is primarily governed by his “ownership society” philosophy, spelled out in last month's convention speech. Meanwhile, the Kerry plan emphasizes affordable rent. But how will either candidate implement their goals? This episode of the 30 Issues series examines the Bush and Kerry policies in housing and the fate of the section 8 program.

Read on for the Democrat’s and Republican’s view and tune in to hear former HUD secretary Andrew Cuomo discuss the Kerry plan while the Manhattan Insitute’s Howard Husock lays out the Bush plan.

In the meantime, please keep the emails coming.

From DNC Platform:
Strengthening our cities. We will invest in the businesses, schools, and hospitals that metropolitan areas need to thrive. We will support quality housing opportunities and a balanced housing policy for all Americans, defending good rental housing and extending the American Dream of homeownership to more families. At a time when so many families are losing their homes and life savings to unscrupulous lenders, we will rein in predatory lending and expand access to mainstream financial services for urban
families. And we will redouble our nation's commitment to closing the "digital divide."

From the GOP platform:
Homeownership is central to the American dream, and Republicans want to make
it a reality for everyone. That starts with access to capital for entrepreneurs and access to credit for consumers. Both have improved immensely in the past four years, resulting in record levels of homeownership. For the first time, more than half of all minorities own their home. We support the President’s goal of increasing the number of minority
homeowners by at least 5.5 million families by the end of the decade. Since President
Bush announced his initiative in 2002, an additional 1.6 million minorities have become homeowners. The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunities Program helps low-income families purchase a home. The most significant barrier to homeownership is the down payment. We support efforts to reduce that barrier, like the American Dream Downpayment Act and Zero Downpayment Mortgages. The President and Congress have taken action to provide counseling and education to help first-time homebuyers navigate the process of buying a home. The Administration has also taken steps to alert people to the dangers of predatory lending, in an effort to help Americans maintain a positive credit history.
Affordable housing is in the national interest. That is why the mortgage interest deduction for primary residences was put into the federal tax code and why tax reform of any kind should continue to encourage homeownership. We support efforts to enact the Single-Family Affordable Housing Tax Credit. At the same time, a balanced national housing policy must recognize that decent housing includes apartments, and addresses the needs of all citizens, including renters. In many areas, housing prices are higher than they need to be because of regulations that drive up building costs. Some regulation is of course necessary, and so is sensible zoning. We urge states and localities to work with local builders and lenders to eliminate unnecessary burdens that price many families out of the market. We see no role for any federal regulation of homebuilding. We do foresee a larger role for state and local governments in controlling the federally assisted housing that has been so poorly managed from Washington. We also encourage the modification of restrictions that inhibit the rehabilitation of existing distressed properties.