By Vanguard Staff
Washington, DC – The housing crisis is not just in California and now there will be a huge influx of $150 billion for housing programs as a result of an agreement reached between Congress and the administration on the Build Back Better Act – which is the President’s larger infrastructure bill.
Overall, the Build Back Better Act encompasses a huge investment in “human infrastructure” and social programs, which aims to decrease poverty, redress racist policies, and increase the social safety net. The bill includes funding for climate change prevention, universal pre-kindergarten, an expanded child tax credit, health care, and other items paid for with taxes on corporations and the ultra-wealthy.
The agreement also includes $150 billion for housing programs. This transformative legislation will improve existing and provide new housing for the lowest-income people and families through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (including public housing, vouchers, and homebuyer assistance) and the Department of Agriculture (including rental housing and homeownership).
“The framework will make the single largest and most comprehensive investment in affordable housing in history,” the administration said on Friday in a release. “The framework will enable the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of more than 1 million affordable homes, boosting housing supply and reducing price pressures for renters and homeowners.”
“It will address the capital needs of the public housing stock in big cities and rural communities all across America and ensure it is not only safe and habitable but healthier and more energy efficient as well. It will make a historic investment in rental assistance, expanding vouchers to hundreds of thousands of additional families. And, it includes one of the largest investments in down payment assistance in history, enabling hundreds of thousands of first-generation homebuyers to purchase their first home and build wealth,” the release stated.
It added, “This legislation will create more equitable communities, through investing in community-led redevelopments projects in historically under-resourced neighborhoods and removing lead paint from hundreds of thousands of homes, as well as by incentivizing state and local zoning reforms that enable more families to reside in higher opportunity neighborhoods.”
In a statement from the National Housing Law Project, they noted, “NHLP will continue to advocate in some areas which could be improved including: additional funding for public housing and rural housing; no net loss of public housing; tenants’ rights protections in all programs; and a pilot program for small dollar mortgages.”
They added, “We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration in the days and years to come to make sure these programs work for BIPOC communities and the lowest-income families in our country. These are the same communities and families who were ruthlessly targeted by the last administration’s policies. The Build Back Better Act will make an enormous difference to the landscape of fair and affordable housing for years to come.”
Below is a summary of the bill’s housing programs. Funding is for ten years unless otherwise indicated.
- $65 billion for public housing, including $53 billion for repair, replacement, and construction for five years
- $15 billion for new vouchers, renewals, and admin fees
- $7.1 billion for new vouchers for households at risk of or experiencing homelessness and for sexual violence survivors
- $1 billion for tenant protection vouchers related to funding for public housing preservation, renewals, and fees
- $300 million for mobility grants
- $880 million for project-based rental assistance
- $25 billion for HOME Investment Partnerships program
- $15 billion for the Housing Trust Fund
- $10 billion for HUD downpayment assistance for first generation homebuyers for five years
- $4 billion for a new program to allow first-time and first generation homebuyers to build equity more quickly
- $3 billion for the Community Restoration and Development Fund
- $1.77 billion for climate resilience and energy and water improvements to affordable housing
- $1.5 billion for revitalization of distressed multifamily properties
- $540 million for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and $160 million for HUD’s administration of FHIP and the Fair Housing Assistance Program
USDA Rural Housing Funding
- $1.8 billion for rural rental housing programs: Section 515 (rental housing); Section 514 & 516 (farmworker housing). These funds are for new construction, climate resilience, preservation, and to remove health and safety hazards.
- $150 million for a new program to allow first-time and first generation homebuyers to build equity more quickly
- $100 million for expanded rental assistance program available under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
- $100 million for home repair grants