The National Housing Conference commends President Biden and Congressional negotiators for reaching an agreement on a historic investment in housing. Nearly every American is aware of the skyrocketing cost of housing. The programs in the Build Back Better bill will make a material contribution to addressing the housing supply crisis and securing racial equity in homeownership.
NHC fought for the construction of nearly every unit of public housing in the country between 1937 and 1968. These public housing units were built to ensure that Americans who fell on hard times had access to safe and dignified housing. The fact that many of these homes have deteriorated so significantly in the intervening decades, often to the point of becoming unlivable, is unacceptable. Securing $65 billion for public housing repair is a major victory and one of the most impactful provisions in the bill.
The bill invests over $25 billion for affordable and accessible housing production. This is a big victory for housing advocates, and even more can be achieved as the final details of the tax provisions are resolved. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit is the most effective housing production tool we have. The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act will help us build and restore homes in the neighborhoods that need help the most. Both of these programs are still under consideration and have strong, bipartisan support.
The bill’s $10 billion investment in down payment assistance and counseling for first-generation homebuyers is a historic innovation in federal assistance for homeownership and a first step toward reversing the racial homeownership gap we see today.
These victories would not have been possible without the leadership of President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Brown and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Waters. President Biden has noted the importance of affordable, stable housing more often than any president in modern history, and the passage of this bill would cement his legacy as one of America’s most pro-housing presidents.
About NHC: The National Housing Conference (NHC) has been defending the American Home since 1931. NHC is a diverse continuum of affordable housing stakeholders that convene and collaborate through dialogue, advocacy, research, and education, to develop equitable solutions that serve our common interest – an America where everyone is able to live in a quality, affordable home in a thriving community. Politically diverse and nonpartisan, NHC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.