#Buildbackbetter #Bipartisaninfrastructure #affordablehousing @ – Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, Brown, Waters etc.
The passage of the Build Back Better Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Act in the House is a historic achievement. The housing investments in the Build Back Better Act begin the process of reversing 40 years of disinvestment in housing infrastructure that has led to skyrocketing housing costs for renters and homebuyers. It has also contributed to the unacceptable homeownership gap for people of color, which has grown to record levels.
Today we witnessed an important milestone in the process of passing historic legislation. President Biden has noted the importance of affordable, stable housing more often than any president in modern history. The passage of this bill would cement his legacy as one of America’s most pro-housing presidents. NHC is grateful to the leadership of President Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-NY), and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), without whom this legislation would not have been possible. Our work is not done until the bill is sent to President Biden for his signature and enacted into law; however, this is a critical step toward ensuring the bill becomes law.
The Build Back Better Act provides a balanced approach to addressing imbalances in supply and demand. It provides $10 billion in down payment assistance and homeownership counseling for first-generation buyers; $5 billion to help first-generation homeowners expedite equity creation, and over $5.8 billion to help build and rehabilitate more than 125,000 homes in neighborhoods that have suffered disinvestment for generations, a major source of housing for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers.
The bill also provides $25 billion for project-based and tenant-based rental assistance. This investment will ease the pressure on local jurisdictions, which often measure the wait time for vouchers in years. Securing $65 billion for public housing repair is a major victory and one of the most tangible and impactful infrastructure investments in the bill. These buildings, made of concrete, steel and wood with federal dollars, are no less infrastructure than the streets in front of them. The question we face in deciding to fund their repair is not whether or not they are infrastructure, but rather where those most in need shall live – in renovated public housing with dignity, in dilapidated units we have left behind, or worse, on the street? NHC fought for the construction of nearly every public housing unit in the country between 1933 and 1968. These homes 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 uninhabitable, is unacceptable.
The Build Back Better Act recognizes the unique relationship between housing affordability and housing supply challenges. Including $11.7 billion for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) which Novogradac estimates will produce 812,000 new affordable multi-family units, is a major step forward for the nation’s most successful affordable housing production program. LIHTC is an essential component of the bill’s contribution to the housing supply crisis.
The bill also recognizes the intersection of housing production and economic development. Included in the legislation are investments in Community Restoration and Revitalization Fund and Housing Investment Fund, which will provide resources to increase and upgrade affordable housing supply for years to come.
NHC once again thanks those who were involved in the passage of this historic bill. We urge all of our members to continue to work to get it over the finish line.
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.