As the next election year approaches and candidates for the position of U.S. president start debating the issues, it’s fair to ask what each one is saying right now about the housing market—and what they propose to make homeownership attainable for more Americans. 

So, we appreciate that some of the candidates on both sides have weighed in on housing affordability and some have already taken action to improve it.

We’re reviewing the words and/or actions of each candidate here and will update this as we learn more about where each one stands. 

President Joe Biden (Democrat)

The incumbent, President Joe Biden, and his administration have taken some actions aimed to improve housing affordability and/or accessibility—first for renters with the “Renters’ Bill of Rights,” along with new actions to protect renters: 

  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a request for information exposing practices that unfairly prevent applicants and tenants from accessing or staying in housing. 
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is encouraging the financing of multifamily loans to increase affordability in the multifamily rental market. 

See the White House Fact Sheet for more information. 

On behalf of homebuyers, the Biden-Harris Administration also announced reduced mortgage insurance premiums for homebuyers. 

Vice President Harris and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Fudge announced on February 22 that HUD, through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) would reduce its annual mortgage insurance premium by 0.30%, from 0.85% to 0.55%, for an estimated 850,000 borrowers in 2023. 

The goal of this cost-lowering measure was to make homeownership more affordable for more low- and middle-income homebuyers. 

Greg Schwartz, CEO of Tomo Mortgage, had this to say about the PMI reduction:

Bringing down the hard fees and costs to buying homes will allow millions of Americans to build wealth and prosperity through home ownership. This is the American Dream in action. Combining this action by the administration with Tomo not charging lender fees, we’ll get more folks in homes.

Greg Schwartz

CEO of Tomo Mortgage

Robert F Kennedy, Jr. (Independent)

In early October, Robert F Kennedy, Jr. shared his own plan to fix housing affordability. 

BAM covered the response to Kennedy’s idea—and the main problem critics see with it. While plenty of home buyers (and sellers) would welcome a drop in mortgage rates, quite a few commenters argued that as long as inventory remains as low as it currently is, if demand suddenly skyrocketed, prices would climb right along with it. 

Even now, with rates around 7%, inventory can’t keep up with demand, which is why a crash in home prices is unlikely.

RFK Jr. hasn’t publicly responded to criticism of the proposal, but here’s hoping he’s paying attention and listening to people with a better understanding of the housing market. 

And to any of these candidates who aren’t watching the daily Hot Sheet to stay informed, now would be a good time to start. 

Nikki Haley (GOP)

Ambassador Nikki Haley’s campaign premiered a clip on YouTube from the fourth GOP debate on December 6. CNN posted the highlights of the debate as Haley responded to questions, along with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. 

The clip focuses on her answer to the moderator’s question about the housing market—specifically housing affordability challenges—asking whether those challenges are “the market at work” or whether the federal government “should do something to make homes more affordable.” 

Ambassador Haley’s response: 

Right now, the average homeowner in America is 49 years old. You’ve got young people everywhere, that used to be the American Dream, and now it’s out of reach. 

You first of all look at what the Fed did. The Fed did a terrible job when they allowed all that money to go through. You saw the Treasury bond rates go up. That affected mortgage rates, that affected automobile rates, that affected insurance rates. And so now we have a high interest rate, you’ve got a supply issue. Ask any builder, the supply issues have continued to be there. That’s caused the rate to go up. And then you’ve got insurances that have gone up. So, what you have is a lot of younger people who, one, can’t afford a home, but, two, the banks aren’t lending them any money. They’ve made the regulations so hard that they don’t want to give loans on mortgages anymore. 

So, what we have to do is we have to open it up. We have to, one, grow our economy so that people have more money in their pockets. We’ve got to look at the supply chain and make sure that we are funneling that so that builders don’t have to sit there and go overseas to find things. 

And then we need to make sure…that we stop the borrowing, stop the spending. I’ll veto any spending bill that doesn’t take us back to pre-COVID levels. Because our kids are not going to forgive us for all the spending that happened. And as much as everybody wants to talk about how Donald Trump had a good economy, nine trillion dollars in debt he did just in four years. And we’re all paying the price of that, including those mortgage prices.

Ambassador Nikki Haley

Ron DeSantis (GOP)

Back in March of this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the  Live Local Act (Senate Bill (SB) 102), investing “$711 million in multiple programs to expand the availability of housing, down payment assistance, and focused support for military communities.” 

The total investment under the Live Local Act is almost double the investment made in 2022-2023, which already had the distinction of being the largest investment in 15 years. 

This legislation provides record support for Florida’s workforce and their families to help them live where they work, while also providing historic support for our military communities and the families living near military bases. I applaud Senator Passidomo for leading on this legislation and look forward to the support it will provide to Florida families.

Ron DeSantis

Governor of Florida

Read the full article for more details on what that $711 million investment will pay for. No one’s saying it’s a perfect solution. But it will help create more inventory, at least for Floridians.

Donald Trump (GOP)

While former president Donald Trump has yet to appear on a debate stage for the 2024 election, he has weighed in with his plan for fixing America’s housing market.

Speaking at an event on Friday, July 7, 2023 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Trump laid out his strategy for improving affordability for American homebuyers.

Here’s a quote from a transcript of the event: 

When the economy gets better, it’s hard to get better when you have high energy prices. We’ll get the prices way down and then the interest rates down and then the home builders will start building again, because nobody can get money from the bank because the interest rate’s high.

Donald Trump

From all known accounts, he didn’t elaborate on how exactly he planned to get interest rates down. And since those are ultimately under the Federal Reserve’s control—not the U.S. president’s—it’s not clear how Trump plans to drive rates down. 

He did suggest that a drop in interest rates would get home builders building again, adding to the supply of newly-built homes. 

Multiple factors go into the ups and downs of home prices: 

  • Wages
  • Buyer demand
  • Cost of building materials—including energy and fuel costs

The Newsweek article on Trump’s plan added something else to that list: the cost of foreign materials, which increased when, during his presidency, Trump imposed a series of tariffs against materials made in foreign countries, including Canada and China. 

It remains to be seen whether any of the candidates will add anything to their plans in the coming months. It’s possible more intricate details will be released as the election nears.

Stay tuned as we learn more about where each candidate stands on housing.