Rumors have been circulating that Donald Trump will be selecting his running mate as soon as Friday and speculated front runners include Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Pence. On the issue of housing, each of these men hold varied stances.
Chris Christie – Governor of New Jersey
During his campaign for presidency this election season, Christie stated at the New Hampshire forum he was aware of the effect “lack of [affordable] housing” had on New Jersey. He also stated that he planned to work with governors across the country on federal policy to make it easier for low- and moderate-income residents to find affordable housing. That being said, according to a report from NJ.com, Christie tried multiple times to abolish the state Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) which determines how many homes should be made available to lower income residents in the state. When asked about this, NJ.com reported that Christie’s spokesman Kevin Roberts said Christie was simply against COAH and how affordable housing is run in New Jersey, not the idea of affordable housing itself. Additionally, Roberts said Christie believes officials should find a better way to make such homes available.
Newt Gingrich – Former Speaker of the House
Gingrich, while running for president in 2012, stated repealing the Dodd-Frank Act was the only way to help Americans who are struggling to make their mortgage payments. “I’ve been working with several bank leaders of local small community banks who want to do exactly what you’re describing — and you have to repeal the Dodd-Frank bill because the way the Dodd-Frank bill works, it dramatically regulates the banks,” Gingrich said. “It sends a signal to the regulators to tell them not to make the loans, not to roll over the money — and in effect, it encourages foreclosures and encourages the bank actually seizing the property.” Additionally, he said “The fact is, interest rates today are among the lowest they’ve ever been for housing, but people are locked in because [they are] told by the regulators: Don't you loan this money. And so they’re literally being told it’s better off for people to be foreclosed on than it is for people to have a workout — even though that’s exactly the wrong policy in terms of human beings.”
Mike Pence – Governor of Indiana
According to data from RealtyTrac, Indiana was one of the states hit the hardest during the housing crisis in 2008, and at the end of January 2015 Indiana had 5,217 vacant homes. In response the this, Pence passed a vacant housing law in 2015 that prevents municipalities from passing their own ordinances on vacant homes and protects banks holding liens on the homes from regulations requiring their maintenance. Additionally, he passed The Blight Elimination Program (BEP) to provide local government units in all 92 of Indiana's counties to compete for funding to prevent foreclosures.
Though housing has not been discussed in the depth it has in previous elections, knowing the different stances of both the Republican and Democratic party could be important to the growth and development of the housing market in the future.