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With California in the spotlight, housing should take center stage – Orange County Register

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Thursday night is the last primary debate of 2019 for Democrats vying for the presidency, and to this point in the race, we’ve heard only sparing mentions of housing policy from those who want the country’s top job.

What better place than the debate stage in Los Angeles – a city at the epicenter of the housing affordability crisis – for a full-throated conversation about the problem and real solutions to bring relief to millions of Americans feeling squeezed by rising housing prices?

California’s population has exploded by 6.2 percent since 2010, with 6.5 million Californians calling apartments home. That level of demand has meant that, without adequate supply, more people on the margins are struggling to afford to put a roof over their head. Statewide, 76 percent of extremely low-income renters are stuck paying more than half of their income on housing.

The people described above are California Super Tuesday voters, who will have a great deal to say about who the Democratic nominee is in 2020. They deserve to hear where candidates stand on an issue that impacts them directly and that touches every American community. Do candidates support serious, commonsense policies that will reverse this unaffordability trend, or will they throw their weight behind pie-in-the-sky ideas like rent control that may seem good in a sound bite but will unfortunately only make the crisis worse?

In a referendum in 2018, the people of California loudly rejected a ballot initiative for statewide rent control, but the state legislature and the governor pushed it through this year anyway. Would the candidates mimic that approach on a national scale?

We know Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren want national rent control, but as New York and California have learned the hard way, extreme rent-capping policies have the unintended consequences of limiting development of new and updated housing, reducing supply and ultimately increasing prices. If a low-income family isn’t lucky enough to secure a rent-controlled apartment, they’re suddenly stuck paying a higher price. Not to mention property owners who surrender their rights under the policy.

But others have proposed a whole host of policies and programs that would actually make a meaningful difference for American families, without the harm of rent control. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has called for increased federal investment in affordable housing. Sen. Warren has argued for softening prohibitive zoning rules to make construction easier. Some candidates have floated expanding tax credits for low- and middle-income Americans who spend more than 30% of their income on rent. And multiple candidates believe in using federal dollars in different ways to incentivize construction on the local level.

Voters deserve to hear how each candidate would approach the crisis. Continuing to ignore the problem is unworkable for too many Californians and Americans.


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Jeff Stearman

Jeff has experienced much success in his many years as a Realtor, consistently ranking in the Top 1% of Realtors nationally as well as the Top Agent locally. Jeff also has an MBA and Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designation and is Certified Short Sale Specialist and Distressed Property Negotiator and Expert. Jeff has a firm grasp on today’s real estate market and is an expert in all areas of residential real estate, including: traditional sales, residential income properties, vacation properties, luxury homes, as well as distressed properties. Additionally, with his background in mortgage & financial consulting, Jeff can help you understand the numbers side of real estate and offer valuable advice on the different types of home loans and financing options that you could take advantage of. His clients say: "If you want something done, ask a busy Realtor.” The Stearman Group has successfully sold over 3,000 homes because they carefully work with their clients to create successful solutions. They strive to solve your individual housing needs-one client at a time. His team gives only the Best Personalized Service to each of their clients every single time.

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