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Urban Issues: Housing

by Gotham Gazette Staff, Feb 23, 2004

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John Edwards

Edwards proposes an American Dream Tax Credit that would offer low and moderate income families up to $5,000 to help cover the cost of a down payment when buying a home. He also supports increasing funding for section 8 vouchers and the enforcement of fair housing laws. Edwards supports Community Block Grants to improve neighborhoods.

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John Kerry

Kerry proposes an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that would create 1.5 million rental apartments over ten-years. He also proposes a Community Development Homeownership Tax Credit that would encourage the construction and rehabilitation of 500,000 homes over the next ten years. Kerry also promises to enforce fair housing laws.

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Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich wants to create a housing trust fund to build 1.5 million new apartments and houses over ten years. He also proposes restoring full federal funding for Department of Housing and Urban Development's section 8 vouchers. He promises to enforce fair housing laws.

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Al Sharpton

Sharpton supports housing assistance for low-income families and promises to enforce fair housing laws.

George W. Bush

Bush created the American Dream Down Payment Act that over the last two years helped 80,000 people purchase homes. With this act, the Bush Administration aims to “dismantle the barriers to home ownership.” In addition to helping low-income families with funding, the program puts pressure on mortgage companies and the real-estate industry to provide opportunities for minorities to purchase affordable housing. The White House claims there are 1 million new minority housing owners since 2002. Bush estimates at least 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of the decade.

However, the Bush administration is increasing requirements in order to qualify for federal housing subsidies. Beginning January 2004, a new regulation requires 8 hours of community service for approximately 60,000 people who live in public housing in New York City. If they do not abide by the regulations, they can be evicted. At the same time in recent years, federal subsidies for low-income housing in New York City have decreased. Between 1999 and 2003, the federal subsidy for the housing authority decreased by $58 million or 6 percent.

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Urban Agenda: Housing
• Federal Housing Policy and New York City
• Public Housing
• Section 8 Housing


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