Julián Castro unveils affordable housing platform aimed at increasing homeownership, decreasing discrimination

The former head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to address gentrification and provide tax cuts for Americans who spend more than 30% of their income on rent.

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro speaks to supporters at a fundraiser at Native Hostel in Austin on May 8, 2019.

WASHINGTON — Calling housing "a human right," Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro unveiled a series of new proposals Monday to address housing affordability issues that are mounting across the country.

Castro promised in a written statement that he will "end veteran, child and youth homelessness by the end of my first term, and will end chronic homelessness by the end of 2028."

Castro has a particular expertise in this field — he served as Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary during the Obama administration. This is the latest in a series of proposals he has released over the course of his presidential campaign since January. Castro has also released plans to address immigration, education and police reform.

There three main tenets he underscored Monday for his housing proposal include focusing on federally funded vouchers to help disadvantaged Americans pay their rent, creating a refundable tax credit for Americans whose rent exceeds 30% of their income and expanding the supply of affordable housing units.

On Tuesday, Castro will shift focus to stop housing discrimination and address how gentrification and climate change affect housing affordability and availability. And on Wednesday, Castro will discuss how to move more Americans into homeownership while also regulating Wall Street's role in this sector of the economy.

While Castro has trailed behind most of his rivals for the Democratic nomination, he qualified for next week's NBC debate.