White House Announces Plan To Boost Affordable Housing

The Biden administration released a new plan on Monday to alleviate the rising cost of housing in the U.S. and to address the housing supply shortfall within five years through executive and legislative actions.

The plan would give cities and towns with reformed zoning and land-use policies higher scores for certain federal grants. It would also expand federal financing options for constructing and preserving factory-built homes, accessory dwelling units and small-scale developments. Existing federal financing options for affordable multifamily housing development and preservation would expand and improve as well.

The plan re-emphasizes the Biden administration’s call on Congress to pass tax credits for building and rehabilitating affordable homes; to expand low-income housing tax credits; and to create a new, $1.75 billion competitive grant program “to help states and localities eliminate needless barriers to affordable housing production,” the White House stated. “This is the most comprehensive all of government effort to close the housing supply shortfall in history.”

“When aligned with other policies to reduce housing costs and ensure affordability, such as rental assistance and down payment assistance, closing the gap will mean more affordable rents and more attainable homeownership for Americans in every community,” said the White House.

The plan also includes steps to ensure government-owned housing goes to owners who will live in the dwellings, or nonprofits who will rehab the buildings, rather than large investment firms that may neglect the properties.

The administration also said it will work with private sector companies to improve supply chain issues that hamper construction, with the goal of finishing construction on more new homes this year than in any year since 2006.

“The Plan’s policies to boost supply are an important element of bringing homeownership within reach for Americans who, today, cannot find an affordable home because there are too few homes for sale in their communities. And it will help reduce price pressures in the economy, as housing costs make up about one-third of the market basket for inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index,” the White House said.

 

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