How Can a Relatively Few Number of Homeowners Influence American Politics?
Homeownership political influence is affected if a country’s government does not regard affordable housing for low-income earners as an important agenda. As far back as 1996, the Republicans have put forward a campaign platform that will eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Although scrapping of the HUD has not materialized, the department continues to operate under limited authority and inadequate budgets.
That being the case, homeowners remain vulnerable to the actions taken by the present government. The current Trump administration has implemented tariffs that made primary construction materials such as lumber, nails and dry wall more expensive, even for middle-income earners. The US National Association of Home Builders, estimates that costs of building a new house will increase by as much as $9,000.
The Future of Homeownership In the US Hangs in a Balance
When the U.S. Congress Congress failed to pass a spending bill that had to consider U.S President Donald Trump’s demand for an additional $5.7 billion for the ongoing extension of the US-Mexico Border Wall, a partial government shutdown took effect. On Dec. 22, 2018, the start of a long-running partial government shutdown, ceased operations of several government agencies.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development was caught unprepared, as inexperienced HUD officials appointed by the Trump administration failed to renew expired affordable housing contracts. The contracts could have lessened the impact of Trump’s tariffs on middle and low-income earners seeking to rebuild or build their home.
The prolonged shutdown made homeownership future look even more bleak. As an aftermath to HUD’s temporary closure, Pamela Patenaude, touted as the most capable political leader supervising the HUD, along with several other HUD executives, submitted their resignation.
In the latest development (January 25, 2019), President Trump agreed to sign a bill to temporarily lift the partial government shutdown until Feb. 15, 2019. After which, he is still adamant that his $5.7 billion funding demand for the Border Wall will remain a condition for the final appropriations bill.