Elizabeth Warren: Housing ‘Should Be a Basic Human Right’

Monday at a CNN town hall, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposed “having a decent and safe place to live” be a basic human right.

Warren said, “I have a proposal to build about three million new housing units across America. I just want to stop for a second, is anybody in here worried about the rising price of housing? That’s pretty much everybody, right? The idea is that we need to make a real investment in housing. In the same way that we think about health care as a basic human right, having a decent and safe place to live should be a basic human right.”

She continued, “The squeeze is everywhere. It’s the poor, it’s the working poor, it’s the working class, it’s the middle class, it even moves up into the upper middle class that people feel squeezed on housing because we just don’t have enough affordable housing across this country. So I believe we should make a big investment in housing and by the way, if we do that, independent analysis says that we would lower rents across this country by 10%, and that’s across the board and we create an opportunity for more people to become buyers. So housing is important.”

She added, “And if I can, I want to tell you about one other part of this. This bill also addresses the black-white gap in housing that comes from generation after generation. Not just a passive discrimination but realize that into the 1960s in America, the federal government was subsidizing the purchase of homes for white families and discriminating against black families. That’s red lining. This bill tackles that head on and it says for people who are living in formerly redlinedr areas, there’s going to be special assistance for first time home buyers and people that got cheated in the run-up to the housing crash and lost some special assistance for folks to be able to get that first home and to start building the generation after generation of wealth. It’s a step in the right direction.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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