2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
Speaking Truth to Power!

Section 6: Homelessness and Housing


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The NAACP 2008 Presidential Candidate Civil Rights Questionnaire



If elected President, what steps would you take to eliminate homelessness in the United States?

Senator Clinton:

I will ensure that all Americans have access to affordable housing. In many areas around the country, housing costs have far outgrown inflation - and the gap between wages and housing costs is widening, pushing affordable housing beyond the reach of many working families. That's why I have proposed an agenda to put affordable housing within reach for low- and middle-income Americans. An important piece of that plan is a $1 billion fund to provide federal support to housing trust funds established by state, county, and municipal governments. My agenda also includes plans to crack down on unscrupulous brokers, curb mortgage lending abuses, and help homeowners avoid foreclosures.

Homelessness is linked to poverty and unemployment. To alleviate poverty, I will start by making investments in our children early in their lives - by providing quality pre-kindergarten to all four-year-olds, supporting our children through primary and secondary schools, and making college more affordable. And I will continue to support them into adulthood to ensure that they have the skills to land well-paying jobs and build a financially stable life for themselves and their children. I have an economic blueprint for the 21't century that includes my plans to restore fairness to the tax system, to balance the budget and spur economic growth; to invest in new and old industries that will create new jobs in America; and increase the minimum wage.
Senator Obama:

I will implement a multi-prong strategy to address homelessness in the United States, building off of my record in the Senate to tackle homelessness with our nation's veteran population. First, I will work to increase the availability of affordable housing in the U.S. by creating an Affordable Housing Trust Fund, reversing the Bush cuts to the CDBG program and ensuring that public housing operates by a one-by-one replacement rule. Second, I will work to engage more chronically unemployed Americans into the workforce by investing $1 billion over 5 years into transitional jobs and career pathways programs. Third, I will increase and expand eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) benefits so that more working Americans, including childless working Americans, have access to more economic supports. Fourth, I will also expand resources for ex-offender job training and support services, as well as substance abuse programs to help more disengaged Americans rebuild their lives.


If you are elected President what areas, if any, would your administration focus on in the housing field?
Senator Clinton:

As President, I will tackle the many challenges America faces with regard to housing. I have proposed a $1 billion fund to help state, city, and municipal governments expand

affordable housing trust funds. I have also introduced legislation to strengthen the FHA so that low- and moderate-income people can participate in the dream of homeownership. But we are in the middle of a foreclosure crisis that is disproportionately affecting minority communities. l am deeply focused on ending this crisis and ensuring that it never recurs. I have called for a moratorium on subprime foreclosures; a five-year freeze in the rates on subprime adjustable rate mortgages and the conversion of those unworkable mortgages into more stable loans.

I have also proposed a fund of up to $5 billion to help communities and families that are on the frontlines of this crisis. The fund will not only help communities defray the cost of caring for vacated properties, but will help families obtain financial counseling and education about predatory lending. Education is key, so I have also called for dramatically expanding the budget for the HUD program that supports financial counseling programs. I have also called for expanding the anti-foreclosure initiatives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federally chartered companies that were set up to promote homeownership.

As President, I will pursue this agenda. And I will also tighten mortgage underwriting standards and strengthen mortgage disclosure rules so that families are not taken advantage of again.
Senator Obama:

Throughout my career as a community organizer, civil rights lawyer, and elected advocate, I have worked to increase the availability of safe affordable housing. As President, I will fully fund the Community Development Block Grant program and create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to build thousands of new affordable housing units each year. I will also making buying a home more affordable by creating a new mortgage interest tax credit, which will predominantly benefit families making under $50,000 per year.


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Same level:
Section 1: Civil Rights ] Section 2: Criminal Justice ] Section 3: Economic Justice ] Section 4: Education ] Section 5: Health Care and Social Security ] [ Section 6: Homelessness and Housing ] Section 7: International Affairs ] Section 8: Labor ]
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NAACP Presidential Candidate Civil Rights Questionnaire ] Black Democrats face tough choice in Tuesday's primary ] Blacks Key to Democratic Nominee ] The Black Community's "Change Killers" ] A Black Man as President? ] Is Obama on the Down low with the LGBTQ Community? ] Do We Really Want Another Black President ] Blacks Have Neutered Themselves ] Tracey Morgan: Bitch is the new black (video) ] Class Splits Among African Americans in 2008 Election ] The Coon Effect and Black Presidential Candidates ] What Black Women's Vote Mean for the Presidential Race ] Obama gives blacks hope that change is in the wind ] MAINSTREAM BLACK AMERICANS: Obama upends racial stereotypes ] Not 'other,' just black ]
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