Editor’s Note: From our CEO and Founder David Layfield:
The outcome of this election will profoundly affect whether millions of low-income people have access to safe, affordable housing. Nearly 20 years ago, I founded Affordable Housing Online with the mission to help low-income renters find housing assistance. As my team and I continue to devote ourselves to this mission, we cannot sit on the sidelines with so much at stake.
I, and Affordable Housing Online, endorse Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for President and Vice President of the United States. The Biden-Harris ticket has a solid plan to build more affordable housing and help low-income households afford the rent.
A Biden-Harris administration will invest $640 billion over 10 years to make sure all Americans can have a decent home they can afford. They will also strengthen fair housing laws so that our communities can move away from a past of segregation to a future of opportunity.
The Biden-Harris plan will increase affordability for millions of low-income renters. A Biden-Harris administration is committed to fully funding Section 8 rental assistance so that everyone who qualifies can receive help paying the rent. Right now, three out of four families eligible for assistance do not receive it. The Biden-Harris plan would also create a Renters Tax Credit that will help those who earn too much to qualify for Section 8, but who still struggle to pay the rent.
Rents continue to skyrocket, largely because there is not enough affordable housing. The Biden-Harris plan calls for building hundreds of thousands of new units. They would increase funding for the national Housing Trust Fund and expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). The new administration would also push for a $100 billion Affordable Housing Fund to build affordable housing in areas of the country where it is scarce.
Homelessness decreased for eight years straight before growing in Trump’s first three years in office. Biden-Harris plan commits to a comprehensive approach to ending homelessness. They would invest $13 billion over 10 years to build 400,000 new units for homeless people. They would direct programs to follow the Housing First approach that has helped millions of homeless people quickly get off the streets and into stable housing. They are committed to ending veterans homelessness.
Biden and Harris are also committed to ending a long legacy of housing discrimination in this country. They will turn back the current administration’s efforts to gut fair housing regulations. If local governments benefit from federal housing and community development money, they should take steps to end segregation in their neighborhoods. Homeless LGBTQ people will not be turned away from shelters.
I wrote four years ago that Donald Trump would do more than just ignore the housing needs of low-income renters. I said he would go after the bedrock programs that build new housing and help so many low-income seniors, persons with disabilities and families with children pay the rent. And that is exactly what happened.
To start, it was not a good sign that Trump appointed a HUD Secretary with no experience in affordable housing, government service, or management of a large organization.
The Trump administration has tried to slash and eliminate almost all the federal programs that build new affordable housing. They have gutted fair housing regulations that protect low-income renters from discrimination. Each year’s budget has proposed eliminating all of the rural rental housing programs and housing vouchers for veterans. They want to discard the successful Housing First approach to ending homelessness because it costs too much.
As a mission-based business not affiliated with any government agency, housing program, or nonprofit organization, and having never received any charitable or federal grant assistance, it is our right and prerogative to endorse a political candidate or referendum of our choosing. When we decide to endorse candidates, we choose based on who aligns closest with our mission of helping low-income renters find affordable homes in communities free from discrimination.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have track records that back up their commitment to affordable housing. Their plan will help millions of people pay their rent. It will build hundreds of thousands of new affordable homes. It will make a huge dent in ending homelessness. And their administration will tackle a national legacy of discrimination and segregation head-on.
Four more years of Trump will be a disaster for all of us, but it will fall hardest on low-income renters. If you have not voted already, I encourage you to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Every vote is important in this election, and your vote is most important.
Thank you and God Bless America.
When, how, and where you can vote for president in 2020
When to Vote: Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. States have also organized early voting locations to vote in-person before Election Day, and voters who have received a mail-in ballot can submit it before or on Election Day. Note: Election officials in many states have warned that it’s now too late for voters to mail back their ballot, and recommend for it to be hand delivered or to vote in person.
How to Vote: Confirm you are registered to vote. If you have not yet registered, twenty states allow in-person voter registration on Election Day. You can confirm if you are registered to vote, and learn how to register to vote in your state here.
Where to Vote: If you’re voting in person, you can find your polling place location here. If you’re hand delivering your mail-in ballot, you can find drop box locations on your local election office’s website.