There Is Still Time for Obama to Strengthen the American Dream for All

By Eva Clayton

Income inequality is an issue that we must work diligently to identify balanced policy solutions that reward hard work and determination. Narrowing the income gap and widening opportunity for all is an effort that this administration has focused on in earnest. So much so that the president made it one of his priorities to provide Americans a pathway to the middle class. Nonetheless, income inequality will continue, as it should, to be a key issue in the 2016 presidential elections. Countless Americans do their best to keep food on the table and build a decent life for their family, yet it seems the odds are stacked against them.

President Obama can strengthen his legacy in this area with tools he already has. He doesn’t need to magically unlock the logjam in Congress to help ensure the resources for affordable housing for years to come. Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), the president can buttress programs to help working Americans access affordable housing and facilitate homeownership. For generations, homeownership was the very definition of the American dream but the 2008 housing crisis turned that dream into a nightmare for many families. Despite the President’s support for an array of policies aimed at working families and improving the pathway to the middle class, there is a lot more to do to restore the dream of homeownership.

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