The United States is in perilous waters when it comes to housing the nation’s elderly, according to presidential candidate Lindsey Graham.
The South Carolina senator said the next president needs to address the issue head-on, or face “millions” of senior citizens becoming homeless.
There’s simply not enough rental stock and not enough affordable housing, or available funding for either, he told Alex Skatell, founder of news site Independent Journal Review.
Graham is attending the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation's New Hampshire Housing Summit, which will see a cadre of presidential hopefuls (Graham is one of the first in this category to speak, agenda here) address the issue of affordable housing in the nation.
Graham added that housing is the least talked about issue and the next president needs to be challenged about how affordable housing will be funded during his/her tenure. “This is the first housing conference I’ve been to,” he added, to underline the total lack of discussion in Congress on the topic.
“If you want more money for affordable housing you better get the budget house in order,” he said. Congress is working on a budget to avert another government shutdown, which is what Graham is referring to. As president, Graham said he would go against the Republican creed to not raise taxes, if it meant more funding for affordable housing. He said that some of the nation's elderly struggle to rent while waiting for an affordable home. Some will "die waiting for a home." And more baby boomers are living longer. "Millions of us — where are we going to live?" he asked.
The solution, according to Graham, will be to either raise taxes or cut services (medicare, social security) elsewhere to fund solutions in affordable housing. Graham also suggested raising the age of retirement above 67 to keep people in the workforce longer.
Svenja Gudell, chief economist of Zillow (Z), tweeted the following photo at the event: