By Conor White
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has a plan to solve the country's housing crisis.
She said her "American Housing and Economic Mobility Act," introduced to the Senate this week, will address a dire problem that's only getting worse.
"The cost of housing has just gone through the roof," Warren told Cheddar's J.D. Durkin on Tuesday. "Ask anybody out there who is either trying to rent or to buy ー housing costs are up, up, up."
Ten years ago, millions of Americans lost their homes during the subprime mortgage crisis. Many haven't gotten their houses back, and the cost of renting has only increased.
The median rent in the U.S. has risen by nearly 3 percent in just the last year, according to Zillow.
"What this bill is about is, how to bring those costs back down," Warren said. "So that people will be able to afford rent, or if they want to, so that people will have a chance to buy."
"We need a national housing policy that is aimed toward families, hard-working people ー all across this country," Warren added.
The new bill intends to pour about $500 billion into affordable housing programs over the next 10 years and create incentives for local governments to eliminate land-use restrictions that drive up costs and steer down payment assistance funds to communities that have been historically denied mortgages by the government. It would also invest $2 billion to support borrowers who owe more in mortgage payments than their homes are actually worth.
The Senator said all this can be achieved without increasing the country's debt.
"What I propose in this bill is, let's go back to taxing estates, the way that it was set up during the George W. Bush administration," she said.
She estimated that taxing the estates of the 10,000 wealthiest families in this country could provide three million new homes and apartments, bring down rent by 10 percent, and get more first-time home buyers into their homes.
"To me, that's how you build a real future in this country," Warren said. "This country has been very, very good to a lot of people. If they do very well, let's just ask them to put something back in for the next generation, and the generation after that, and the generation after that."
While the bill is not expected to get past the currently Republican-controlled Congress, things could change after the midterms.
For full interview click here.