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Diversity’s Role in the Presidential Race, Housing Policy

After former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Sen. Cory Booker dropped out of the presidential race, there are currently just two non-white candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination. According to Curbed [1], the lack of non-white candidates in the current race, save Andrew Yang and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (neither of whom qualified for the most recent debate), will have an impact on addressing housing issues unique to minority communities.

Curbed particularly notes the departure of Castro. With the most inside knowledge regarding the housing crisis and issues related to vacancy and homelessness, Curbed notes that Castro was the most vocal candidate about housing issues.

Meanwhile, Kamala Harris was able to bring her perspective on racially-focused topics such as bussing and her personal experiences.

However, in the recent debate void of Castro, there was little talk of housing, though most candidates have released their potential presidential housing plans. Most of the proposed plans, researchers at the Urban Institute note, are largely on the right track with their proposals to address the housing shortage.

“The solutions proposed by Democratic presidential candidates are an acknowledgment of the single largest problem our housing market faces today: lack of supply,” said Karan Kaul and John Walsh of the Urban Institute in a blog.

During his run, Senator Cory Booker unveiled a plan to address housing affordability challenges [2]. Sen. Booker reportedly modeled his plan for renters' credit on legislation he recently introduced.

CNN reported that while this plan "is similar to a plan by his 2020 rival Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat who has centered her own housing policy on a subsidy for low-income renters," his plan goes further by introducing "sweeping changes to restrictive zoning laws, coupled with federal incentives to build more affordable housing."

With these candidates out of the race, and the debate stage “occupied by white candidates,” Curbed states that “we lose perspectives that can start to root out how all these issues of health care, climate change, and wealth inequality are really about fixing our housing policy in the end.”