The Democratic presidential candidates rarely talk about housing issues, but it appears that a Democratic win in November could clear the way for the creation of a National Housing Trust Fund to finance the construction of affordable rental housing.The front-runner, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is the sponsor of a trust fund bill (S. 1411), which is co-sponsored by another Democratic presidential candidate -- Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. The Bush administration has opposed the Kerry bill and a companion measure in the House, sponsored by Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), because they would use surplus revenues from the Federal Housing Administration single-family program for the trust fund. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean supports the creation of the National Housing Trust Fund, which is comparable to a Housing and Conservation Trust Fund he created in Vermont. Rep. Sanders' bill has 211 co-sponsors in the House, including 15 Republicans. Meanwhile, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition has built a grassroots network of nearly 5,000 organizations, elected officials, and religious leaders who support the creation of a housing trust fund.

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