Presidential campaigns rarely push mundane housing matters like zoning disputes or local development choices into the national spotlight.
But eager to win suburban voters, President Donald Trump has brought housing policy into the national debate, taking swipes at California lawmakers, federal anti-discrimination policies and even efforts to allow duplexes in exclusive communities.
The renewed attention to critical housing issues — displayed most dramatically in California — could bring new resources and policies, but experts say the federal government holds so little sway over local issues that efforts may come to little but sound and fury.
“The reality is that the federal government doesn’t play a big role in determining local development,” said Jessica Trounstine, UC Merced professor studying housing policy and racial disparities. She hasn’t seen much policy substance behind Trump’s focus on the suburbs, she said, “other than finding a nerve.”
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