economic inequality

Do you support a national rent control cap?

Yes

Yes

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Landlords should not be able to simply raise rents to any level they want, any time they want,” Sanders told The Post. He “will establish a national rent-control standard, capping annual rent increases throughout the country at no more than one and a half times the rate of inflation or 3 percent whichever is higher. Additionally, we need to allow cities and states to go even further to protect tenants from the skyrocketing price of housing.”

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

No, do something else

No, do something else

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I believe in a comprehensive national policy to make housing more accessible and more affordable for every American,” Biden told The Post. “My plan for housing will address the affordable-housing shortage in cities and towns across the country and pursue strategies to make homeownership an achievable dream for all middle-class families.”

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Joe Biden
Biden

Pete Buttigieg

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“As a Mayor, I know that affordable housing is a crisis issue for many people in cities and towns across America — and I also know that the right solutions come from the local level,” Buttigieg told The Post. “Rent control is one of many tools that local jurisdictions can use to promote access to affordable housing. I will support cities in developing affordable housing strategies, including locally-tailored rent control, that work for their residents and are appropriate for their unique housing markets. I will also take steps to deter states from pre-empting local action on rent control or other tenant protections.”

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Housing is at the center of inequality in our country because it determines so much of your life. Where you live determines the air you breathe. It determines where your kids go to school. There's too little affordable housing, simply put. There are a number of situations that offer opportunities for local communities to create more affordable housing, like underutilized commercial properties, infill developments, more mixed-use buildings — which would make it easier to convert surplus state-owned property to affordable housing — tighten the rules on housing speculators, as well as strengthen tenants rights, protections, and rent control. I will work with state and local governments to build more housing and support rent and down payment assistance to help families find and stay in a home.”

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Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I have made taking on the country’s housing crisis a priority,” Warren told The Post. “I strongly support efforts to adopt rent-control standards. My housing legislation has a competitive grant program that offers grant money to cities that adopt rent control and other tenant protections as a way to encourage those efforts. I also strongly oppose state laws that preempt local efforts to impose rent control. More than 30 states have passed laws that explicitly prohibit cities from adopting rent control. These state laws effectively permit Wall Street to decide what’s best for cities and towns instead of the residents of those places choosing for themselves. It’s wrong, and as president, I will do whatever I can to stop and reverse these industry-backed efforts to take power away from cities and towns.”

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Michael Bennet (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet is no longer running for president. “No. National rent control is more of a misguided slogan than a policy, and it would result in fewer affordable homes being built or preserved,” Bennet told The Post. “We need comprehensive reform to federal housing programs to build or preserve 7 million additional affordable units for low-income renters, help first-time homebuyers make a down payment, and ensure every American can afford a stable place to live in a neighborhood with good jobs and good schools.”

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. “My housing plan includes a renters credit that would cap rental costs at 30 percent of income for working and middle-class Americans by refunding to renters the difference between 30 percent of income and the median area market rent,” Booker told The Post. “This would put more money in the pockets of 57 million Americans with the typical benefit for a family of about $4,800 per year.”

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Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “No. I believe we should allow a tax credit for renters to reduce the pressure on residents of communities where there is limited affordable housing stock — a problem not only in major cities but also in rural communities,” Bullock told The Post.

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Steve Bullock
Bullock

John Delaney (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney is no longer running for president. “No. We need more new construction to address the shortage of affordable housing units, and a national rent-control policy would discourage that,” Delaney told The Post. “I also believe rent control is a local issue. I have proposed a massive increase in federal affordable housing funding.”

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John Delaney
Delaney

Deval Patrick (Dropped out)

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick is no longer running for president. “I will build on the housing voucher program and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) so that every person eligible for a housing voucher or existing tax credit will get one, and I will explore new tax credits and other forms of rent relief as necessary to ensure that every family in America can afford safe, comfortable housing near their place of work,” Patrick's infrastructure plan said. “Additionally, my administration will protect existing tenants with stronger enforcement of rules that prevent unfair eviction practices and housing discrimination.”

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Deval Patrick
Patrick

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “No, but I will have increased support for affordable-housing programs and a new low-interest loan program to help with down payments for first-time home buyers,” Sestak told The Post.

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Joe Sestak
Sestak

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. Williamson does not support a national rent-control cap, she told The Post.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang (Dropped out)

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is no longer running for president. Yang “acknowledges that rent costs are rising rapidly and current zoning ordinances restrict affordable-housing development,” his campaign told The Post. “The government must work to reform zoning ordinances and expand affordable housing to fight the housing crisis. Additionally, the government should work to make home ownership a realistic goal for American families, through both directly investing in our people and also supporting them in their financing options.”

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Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Mike Bloomberg

Former New York mayor

Bloomberg did not answer this question by publication.

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Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. Castro did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

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Julian Castro
Castro

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris released a plan to address racial differences in homeownership, including “$100 billion to provide down-payment and closing-cost assistance to four million homebuyers who rent or live in historically red-lined communities.” She did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

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Background Housing advocates have pushed to nationalize rent control, which limits the rate at which property owners can increase rent. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) rolled out a national rent control proposal in September. Opponents caution that keeping prices artificially low will discourage investment in new housing, particularly low-income housing.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic presidential campaign asking whether it supports various changes to U.S. economic policy. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role, and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports and surveys. See something we missed? Let us know.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

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Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.