Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has reintroduced the Homes for All Act, which would dramatically expand the public housing stock in the United States and guarantee housing as a human right.
The bill would authorize the construction of 12 million new public housing and private, permanently affordable rental units, driving down costs throughout the market and creating a new vision of what public housing looks like in the U.S.
Omar also reintroduced the Frank Adelmann Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act. That bill would create a tax credit that incentivizes mobile home park owners to sell their property to the residents for the purposes of creating a cooperative.
The reintroduction comes after 60 Minutes recently reported how the lack of construction of new housing and Wall Street greed contributes to skyrocketing rent and fueling the housing crisis.
“The pandemic has made clear how deep our affordable housing crisis is,” said Rep. Omar. “Since the eviction moratorium ended, we have seen an uptick in people being kicked out of their homes. In Minnesota alone, nearly 8,000 are homeless on a given night. And 53,000 are behind on rent. We need solutions that meet the scale of this crisis. We need Homes for All, my bill to invest in 12 million new housing units – vastly expanding the available affordable housing stock, driving down costs throughout the market and creating a new vision of what public housing looks like in the United States of America. I’m proud to reintroduce this bill with the support of so many allies. It’s time to treat housing as the human right that it is.”
The Homes for All Act repeals the Faircloth amendment, allowing the federal government to begin reinvesting in new public housing for the first time since the 1990s. The bill will make a historic investment of $800 billion over the course of 10 years with the goal of building 8.5 million new units of public housing.
The bill would also invest an additional $200 billion in the Housing Trust Fund to help local communities build 3.5 million new private, permanent affordable housing projects for low and extremely-low income families.
The legislation makes public housing operating and capital expenses mandatory spending in order to prevent future investment bias. Making this spending mandatory ensures that the funding needs of all current and future public housing are fully met and cannot be cut in the event of a budget crisis or a change in Administration.
This simple change in budgetary structure makes a homes guarantee real – ensuring the federal government is committed to this program the same way it is to Social Security and Medicare.
“I applaud Congresswoman Omar for introducing bold legislation to invest in affordable housing at the scale necessary to ensure that housing is a right, not a privilege,” stated Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “Congress must use every opportunity to advance proven housing solutions – like those included in the Homes for All Act – that move our nation towards universal, stable, and affordable homes for everyone.”
The legislation was originally introduced during the last Congressional session, but never made it to the floor for a vote.