Presidential candidates from both parties will join New Hampshire officials and national experts for a major housing summit on Friday, Oct. 16, at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

The event is hosted by the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families and the Bipartisan Policy Center. HousingWire is the trade media partner for the event.

The Foundation is making a push to put housing policy front and center in the 2016 political campaign.

Presidential candidates Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Martin O’Malley and George Pataki are scheduled to participate in the summit, where they, along with New Hampshire officials and national housing experts, will tackle what has been called the “silent crisis” of rising rents and diminished access to homeownership.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, former Sen. Scott Brown, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas are among the public figures pitching in to help find solutions to these worsening problems.

Leading voices from the real estate and finance industry will also be involved, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, American Bankers Association, Zillow, realtor.com, the National Association of Realtors, Moody’s Analytics and the Urban Institute.

Why is this so important, and why New Hampshire, besides the being the location of the New Hampshire primary?

In 2013, nearly 36% of New Hampshire’s 519,000 households paid more than 30% of their gross incomes on housing (the traditional measure of affordability), while some 78,000 paid more than 50%, according to a recent Harvard study.

Since 2000, median rents in the state have increased by nearly 50%, while median incomes for renters increased only 24% over the same period, according to New Hampshire Housing.

Nationally, a record number of households, nearly 12 million, spent more than half their income just on rent in 2013. Rising rents continue to burden families throughout the country.

The national homeownership rate has fallen to a 48-year low. The homeownership rates for young adults and minority households have plummeted.

For the full agenda, click here.