Without a question about housing or any mention of investigations and lawsuits related to Trump University, references to real estate were revealing in last night’s debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
When a reporter asked afterwards if there were any defining moments, a Clinton strategist didn’t need to spin. Donald Trump’s lack of empathy for millions of Americans who were devastated by the real estate recession was revealing.
So was his response to fair housing violations. In an article entitled, Donald Trump’s first presidential debate confirmed he has no idea what he’s talking about, Vox wrote:
“Accused of practicing racial discrimination in his businesses, he says being sued by the federal government is ‘one of those things’ and even though he paid up, there was ‘no admission of guilt.’”
He repeated “no admission of guilt” twice as if that would absolve him from the truth.
The truth is that Donald Trump saw foreclosures as an opportunity to exploit people. “That’s called business,” was his dismissive response when Hillary Clinton exposed Trump’s greed. So if he lashes out at Fed Chief Janet Yellen for creating another “big fat ugly bubble,” he needs to be held accountable. If elected President, which version of Donald Trump would develop policies to protect millions of homeowners if they go upside down again on their mortgages again?
Is that a far fetched scenario? Not according to some housing market observers. Real estate is cyclical and storm clouds are already forming according to the co-founder of Keller-Williams. The next president will need an enlightened housing policy to address numerous problems:
1. Rent burdens are unprecedented;
2. Not a single county has enough affordable housing;
3. The wealth and income gap between millennials and baby boomers is a time bomb (disruptive demographics);
4. Today’s lack of inventory will be replaced by homes no one wants, (Great Senior Sell-Off);
5. We have only one affordable housing unit for every three seniors who need it.
Housing is taking a larger and larger share of household budgets, so some prominent people argue that affordable housing should have been more prominent throughout the primary and presidential campaigns. Rather than waiting for debate moderators to ask, maybe ordinary home buyers and sellers should crowd source our own questions.
Bernie Sanders fans want to start here?
Mr. Trump, you made your fortune through real estate but your father developed thousands of units for ordinary people. What’s your vision for housing a generation of millennials who are watching investors and foreign buyers remove starter homes and affordable condos from the housing market?
What about real estate professionals? Why aren’t leaders in the industry stepping forward to confront the candidates on housing as they did at the bottom of the housing recession?