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Presidential Candidates Gear Up for California Primary

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With Donald Trump having all but sewn up the Republican party nomination for the November presidential election, the attention has been focused on the two Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, leading up to Tuesday’s primaries in California and five other states.

Clinton has a substantial lead over Sanders and could clinch the Democratic nomination on Tuesday by surpassing the mark of 2,383 delegates. Sanders has vowed he will not give up despite trailing significantly in delegates won over the past several weeks. In all, there are 694 delegates to be won on Tuesday in the six states, including 475 in California, according to CNN.

CNN estimates that Clinton is only 29 delegates shy of winning the nomination.

Will housing policy play a role in who wins the most delegates on Tuesday? California is one of the states that was most adversely affected by the housing crisis. Both Clinton and Sanders have laid out their plans for housing policy in recent months, and while both agree they want to increase homeownership, both have radically different ideas on how to do it.

Two major points of Sanders’ plan, which he announced in mid-April, involve expanding the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund to $5 billion a year in order to rehabilitate 3.5 million affordable housing units over the next decade; and closing the wage/rent gap by raising the minimum wage to $20 per hour by the year 2020.

“Owning a home remains one of the best ways for families to build wealth and enter the middle class,” Sanders said. “However, for decades, wages have not kept up with the median costs of homes, putting homeownership out of reach for millions of families.”

Hillary Clinton, released her “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda" in February, which outlines intentions to revitalize the economy and includes a substantial housing investment of $25 billion dollars, dedicated to "lifting more families into sustainable homeownership and connecting housing to opportunity."

According to a factsheet on Clinton's campaign site, the goal of the agenda is to revitalize the economy in communities that have been left out and left behind, provide every child in America a world-class education, dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, tackle disparities in health and nutrition, and fight for environmental justice. In addition, the initiative will also create good-paying jobs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and connect housing to opportunity in communities that are being left out and left behind.

"Homeownership is about more than just owning a home," Clinton's campaign explained. "It is about putting roots down in a community with better schools, safer streets and good jobs. And it is about building wealth, as homeowners build equity in their home one mortgage payment at a time. But this opportunity is increasingly out of reach for too many families, particularly families of color...We must make sure that everyone has a fair shot at homeownership."

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