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Why Democrats and Republicans Need to Talk About Affordable Housing

The lack of affordable housing in the U.S. should be a top priority for any incoming administration. Where’s the discussion?
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gavels open the proceedings of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gavels open the proceedings of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday.Reuters/Charles Mostoller

Housing never surfaced as a major concern at the Republican National Convention. While affordable housing is a plank of the 2016 Republican Party platform—or “responsible homeownership and rental opportunities” is, anyway—the subject didn’t get much lip service in any of the tentpole talks during the Cleveland convention.  

Affordable housing may not get much more play at the Democratic National Convention, which opened Monday in Philadelphia. No doubt, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro would have made housing a big deal, but the White House banned members of the cabinet from addressing the DNC. So, no dice. Certainly, Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s pick for vice president, could talk about his time as an attorney for Housing Opportunities Made Equal, where he represented African-American renters who were discriminated against based on their race.