NLIHC’s Yentel Urges Infrastructure Plan Include Affordable Homes
Last week, Senate Democrats released a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that they say would create 15 million jobs over 10 years that includes funding for affordable homes.
The plan includes $100 billion for “revitalizing America’s Main Streets,” which could include investments in “solutions geared toward helping the more than 11.4 million households that pay more than half of their income monthly on rent, including expanding existing tax incentives and other affordable housing federal programs.”
Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Tom Carper (D-DE) plan to introduce legislation in the coming weeks.
NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel praised the Senators for recognizing the importance of affordable housing investments in a comprehensive infrastructure package.
“An investment in affordable housing infrastructure for the lowest income people would provide our nation with the resources it needs to help the economy, local communities, and families thrive.”
NLIHC advocates that any comprehensive infrastructure package should include an expansion of the national Housing Trust Fund, an increase in Housing Choice Vouchers or other rental assistance to help connect families to areas of opportunity, resources to rehabilitate public housing, and the inclusion of affordable housing developments among projects eligible for loans and equity investments through a national infrastructure bank.
“Our nation has a shortage of 7.2 million rental homes that are affordable and available to more than 10.4 million extremely low income renters. This means that for every 100 extremely low income renters, there are just 31 rental homes that are affordable and available to them. A full 75% of these households pay more than half of their income on rent. These families – seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and low-wage workers – are forced to make impossible choices between paying the rent and buying groceries, visiting their doctor, commuting to their jobs, or saving for college and are often one unexpected expense away from homelessness.”
It is the NLIHC’s position that affordable housing infrastructure should include:
- An expansion of the national Housing Trust Fund, a new tool exclusively focused on increasing the supply of affordable homes for those with the greatest needs;
- An expansion of Housing Choice Vouchers to help connect families to areas of opportunity;
- Resources to rehabilitate public housing stock to preserve this asset for current tenants and future generations; and
- Allowing affordable housing developments to be eligible for loans and equity investments through a national infrastructure bank.