Tom Steyer is a California billionaire who made his fortune as a hedge fund manager. He is known for his philanthropy and environmental work. He proposes to increase affordable housing production by increasing funding for the National Housing Trust Fund, the Capital Magnet Fund, USDA rural housing programs, homeless assistance grants, and making Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers available to everyone who is eligible. His plan also calls for strengthening eviction protection and tenant rights, plus banning discrimination on the basis of source of income.
Tom Steyer would invest $47 billion in the new construction, renovation, and preservation of affordable housing. The investment would be made through the National Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund which currently operate by making grants and loans for affordable housing projects.
Steyer states that his plan would highlight multifamily projects that feature “wraparound services [and] communal spaces” and would meet his campaign's climate goals.
A Steyer administration would update the Low Income Housing Tax Program by increasing housing credit allocations by 50% over the next five years. Additionally, Steyer promotes a 4% housing credit floor for renovating affordable projects and enacting additional reforms that would create more than 500,000 additional affordable units.
While his campaign provides few details on what additional reforms he would make, Steyer’s housing plan would prioritize transit-oriented development, energy efficiency, and densification.
Tom Steyer would encourage densification that creates and sustains household wealth, including incentives for accessory units, 2-4 unit construction, cooperatives, land trust ownership models, and “other creative densification solutions.”
Tom Steyer proposes to “fight unjust gentrification” by creating vehicles that enable long-term and generational residents to build equity as their neighborhood gains wealth. The Steyer campaign has not published details on how this policy would be enacted.
Steyer would extend access to affordable mortgages through expanded enforcement of existing consumer protection laws, enacting policy and financial vehicles that would keep homes in the hands of families instead of benefitting investors, as well as partaking in “a revitalization and racially-corrective reform of the Federal Mortgage Program.”
Tom Steyer would support rural housing through expanded programs within the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Housing Improvement Program.
Steyer highlights programs that would create new rural housing, acquire and renovate older units, provide senior housing, as well as rural workforce housing.
Tom Steyer would expand the Housing Choice Voucher program to cover the remaining 3 quarters of eligible households unable to receive assistance under existing funding levels. Additionally, Steyer would establish “navigators” to help eligible households access assistance.
Tom Steyer proposes a quarterly renter tax credit for low- and middle-income renters for rental or mortgage down-payment assistance. Assistance provided under Steyer’s tax credit would be based on household income and the Small Area Fair Market Rent of the neighborhood.
Tom Steyer would create a renters emergency fund that would provide one-time grants or loans to low-income households facing eviction due to unexpected costs. To further mitigate eviction, Steyer's plan would ensure legal representation for low-income tenants in eviction cases.
Tom Steyer would also propose a ban on landlords and rental agencies discriminating against applicants based on their source of income and history of bankruptcy under the condition that the applicant is able to demonstrate the ability to reliably pay rent and meet “stability requirements for occupancy.”
Tom Steyer would invest $8 Billion in Homeless Assistance Grants and homeless case management through the McKinney-Vento Act. A Steyer administration would focus on expanding Section 5 of the act to rehabilitate vacant buildings as rapid rehousing projects for homeless and at-risk households.
Steyer would also reform and expand the Continuum of Care program, allowing tribal participation as well as improving coordination between federal, state, and local governments.