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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), center, sitting next to Michael Weinstein, president and co-founder of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (l) and actor and activist Danny Glover at a panel on the crisis of housing during The Sanders Institute Gathering on Saturday, December 1, 2018. (Photo: Will Allen 2018 / @willallenexplore)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), center, sitting next to Michael Weinstein, president and co-founder of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (l) and actor and activist Danny Glover at a panel on the crisis of housing during The Sanders Institute Gathering on Saturday, December 1, 2018. (Photo: Will Allen 2018 / @willallenexplore)

US Housing Crisis Inexcusable, Says Bernie Sanders, When Wall Street Bailed Out After Financial Crisis

The reason there is a massive housing crisis in the U.S., says Sanders, it is because the priorities are being "set by the wealthiest people in this country and large campaign contributors, not working families."

Common Dreams staff

BURLINGTON, VT — On the third and final day of The Sanders Institute Gathering on Saturday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) led a panel of experts and advocates to discuss the crisis of, the solutions to, he says, "that gets far too little discussion": the nation's housing crisis.

In an era of unaffordable housing, gentrification, and discriminatory housing policies, the panel conversation explored the "innovative initiatives including land trusts, non-profit landlord ownership and the progress towards fairer housing policies in America."

"I hope everyone here remembers that we are the wealthiest country in the world," Sanders said as he introduced the talk.

And so, he added, after referencing the many billions spent to bail out Wall Street in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, if there is a shortage of affordable housing—or childcare or other needed social programs—it "is not lack of resources; the reason is lack of political will. And the reason is a set of priorities set by the wealthiest people in this country and large campaign contributors, not working families."

In addition to Sanders, the speakers included: Danny Glover, actor, producer and humanitarian; Brenda Torpy, CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust; and Michael Weinstein, president and co-founder of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation & Healthy Housing Foundation.

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