The Real Estate of the Union: Will Housing be a Major Factor in the 2020 Presidential Election?

Written by Posted On Monday, 05 August 2019 11:09

While housing has not been a major factor in past presidential elections, it appears that more and more presidential candidates are addressing the rising cost of owning or renting a home.  In fact, at least 16 of the Democratic candidates have mentioned affordable housing in their platforms, and four have specifically released policy proposals. And President Trump has mentioned his administration’s efforts to reform the housing finance system.

What does housing and real estate in general have to do with politics?

Regardless of one’s political leanings, housing is a topic that affects us all. Many of us face challenges in meeting housing costs, whether it is renting or owning a property, because  it has become more and more difficult for people to find affordable housing.  Some factors that cause this issue is that wages have stagnated and building costs have increased; thus, leading  the number of Americans burdened by housing costs increasing by almost 14 million in the last 30 years, and almost half of renters now pay more than half of their income on rent.

Some political pundits claim that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign missed an opportunity on focusing on housing, and the 2020 presidential candidates have the tremendous opportunity to not only address housing issues but also engage a whole new class of voters by discussing potential  housing solutions.

2020 election

Whether one is swayed by presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s American Housing and Economic Mobility Act which purportedly aims to reduce rents by 10% and invest $500 billion over the next ten years for the construction of affordable housing units, or by  President Trump’s efforts to reform the housing finance system and the regulations of mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie, it is interesting that housing may just be one of the questions raised during the Presidential debates.

should you pay off student loan or buy a house

Pay for College or Buy a House?

Over the past decade, with the cost of college skyrocketing, increasing eight times faster than wages, millennials have confronted a serious dilemma: pay off student loans or buy a home. Nowadays, accomplishing both has become an incredibly difficult task. And it’s this very decision that will not only play a crucial role in the 2020 presidential election, but also influence how housing shapes the election as well. Considering that the youngest Americans – millennials and Generation Z – will compose 37% of the electorate in 2020, it’s clear these two generations will have the chance to show their political support for candidates able to address this pressing conundrum. Whether through advocating for Elizabeth Warren’s student loan debt forgiveness or endorsing President Trump’s capped monthly payment plan, the way these candidates mitigate the effects of a $1.5 trillion debt crisis, will shape the path for allowing these generations to have access to affordable housing.

The need to educate

While voters may understand and even feel the lack of affordable housing, not everyone understands housing finance such as mortgage lending or why housing would be a talking point on the campaign trail. The economy is affected by increased mortgage rates which impact all voters. There is a real need for the presidential candidates to first educate their base about the mechanics of housing finance in order to appeal to a broader base.

Housing and Beyond

Regardless of the candidate, it is compelling that housing is an issue that all of the candidates will have to confront. Simply put, in this land of tremendous opportunity, we must have affordable housing.

From the Trenches,

Roy Oppenheim


Oppenheim Law | Real Estate Attorneys
2500 Weston Rd, Suite 404
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331

Orignally Posted on South Florida Law Blog: The Real Estate of the Union: Will Housing be a Major Factor in the 2020 Presidential Election? 

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Roy Oppenheim

From Wall Street to Main Street, Roy Oppenheim is a successful serial entrepreneur and attorney focusing on Florida real estate, foreclosure defense, loss mitigation and Internet ventures.


He founded Oppenheim Law in 1989 with his wife Ellen Pilelsky and uniquely positioned the Firm as one of Florida’s leading boutique law firms in Weston, Florida.


Serving national, international, and local clients, Mr. Oppenheim has the highest rating (A-V) conferred by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, the most respected directory of lawyers and law firms in the U.S.


In 1989, Mr. Oppenheim also co-founded and served as general counsel to ShopSmart Corp., the company that originated and owned the GNC Gold Card Program, a program that continues to this day and was one of the first cross-promotional programs of its kind.


In addition, in 1994, he co-founded Weston Title & Escrow, the oldest title company in Weston, Florida, and he currently serves as its Vice President. In 1999, Mr. Oppenheim served a one-year term on the board of directors for Catalina Lighting, a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.


Growing up in the Bronx, Mr. Oppenheim learned to be focused on success and driven to always persevere for opportunity.


In 2009, he started the South Florida Law Blog, which was voted the best business and technology blog by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He also serves as an expert witness on title industry practices.


Mr. Oppenheim has also authored two law review articles with Jacquelyn Trask; namely, Deconstructing The Black Magic of Securitized Trusts, published in the Stetson University Law Review’s Spring 2012 Edition, and The Emperor’s New Clothes, published in the William & Mary Business Law Review Volume 6.


Today, Mr. Oppenheim is a sought-after legal expert on issues relating to the real estate crisis and beyond. In addition to his own blog, he also has been a contributor to Yahoo! Homes, and featured on HuffPost Live, FOX News, and Lifetime TV. In addition he has been quoted in prominent national publications, including USA Today, The New York Times and Huffington Post, among others. Mr. Oppenheim also understands the power of social media, and can be found on a variety of social media platforms.


Mr. Oppenheim also speaks fluent German.




  • Florida Bar, 1987; Member of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section
  • New York Bar, 1987; United States District for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida, 1993




  • Princeton University, A.B., cum laude, 1982
  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1986
    • Member of the Northwestern University Law Review
    • Member of the National Moot Court Team

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