Biden Announces New Actions, and Urges Congress, to Make Housing More Affordable
Housing is one of the largest costs for Americans, and the shortage of housing in this country is one of the largest drivers of inflation. Today, the Biden-Harris administration released the Housing Supply Action Plan to help close America’s housing supply gap in 5 years, which will mean more affordable rents and more attainable homeownership for Americans in every community.
Today’s rising housing costs are years in the making. Fewer new homes were built in the decade following the Great Recession than in any decade since the 1960s. President Biden believes the best thing we can do to ease the burden of housing costs is to boost the supply of housing by building new homes and preserving existing ones that are affordable, especially for low- and moderate-income households.
The Action Plan outlines a series of steps federal agencies either are taking or will take in the next year, including:
- Reward jurisdictions that have reformed zoning and land-use policies.
- Deploy new financing mechanisms to build and preserve more housing where financing gaps currently exist.
- Expand and improve existing forms of federal financing.
- Ensure that more government-owned supply of homes and other housing goes to owners who will live in them.
- Work with the private sector to finish construction in 2022 on the most new homes in any year since 2006.
The Action Plan also reiterates calls for Congress to pass Biden administration proposals, some of which have received bipartisan support, to:
- Expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
- Create a Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit
- Incentivize zoning reform
- Increase Housing Trust Fund and HOME resources
- Create a Housing Supply Fund
- Expand resources for production and preservation of housing in rural and Tribal communities
These combined actions, along with current momentum in the market and reforms at the state and local levels, will help close the housing supply gap in 5 years.
Secretary Marcia Fudge, the chair of USICH, traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to highlight the Action Plan and how the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will support it by:
- Supporting production and availability of manufactured housing.
- Advancing HOME as a key tool for the production and preservation of affordable rental and homeownership housing.
- Continuing to drive housing production through the Federal Financing Bank’s Risk Sharing Program.
- Improving the alignment of federal funds to reduce transaction costs and duplications and accelerate development.
- Supporting new and existing affordable housing in Indian Country.
- Directing supply to owner-occupants and mission-driven entities instead of large investors.
- Encouraging use of CDBG for local acquisition and local sales to owner-occupants and mission-driven entities.
- Promoting modular, panelized, and manufactured housing – and construction R&D.
Want more news like this? Join our mailing list.