American Housing and Economic Mobility Act Would Address Affordable Housing – Severe Shortage of 209,057 Affordable and Available Homes for NJ’s Poorest Renters
On September 26, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the “American Housing and Economic Mobility Act,” a bold and comprehensive affordable housing bill designed to end homelessness and housing poverty in America. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) as well as Monarch Housing supports the bill.
Senator Warren’s bill directly addresses the underlying cause of the affordable housing crisis – the severe shortage of affordable rental homes for people with the lowest incomes – through a robust $450 billion investment over ten years in the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF). The HTF is the first new program in a generation that invests in the production, preservation, and operation of affordable homes for the lowest income people in America.
- By expanding protections under the Fair Housing Act to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, and source of income, the bill promotes economic mobility and opportunity.
- The proposal creates new incentives for local governments to reduce barriers that drive up the cost of housing and encourage the private sector to do more to address the housing needs of the middle class.
New Jersey is home to a number of high-cost cities and faces an affordable housing crisis where incomes are not keeping up with housing costs. According to the NLIHC’s The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes report, in New Jersey, there are:
- 299,191 extremely low income rental homes that face a shortage of 209,057 affordable and available rental units for households at or below extremely low income.
- There are just 30 rental homes affordable and available to every 100 of the lowest income households in the U.S
The entire affordable housing bill is paid for by restoring the estate tax on America’s wealthiest families to President George W. Bush-era levels and instituting more progressive rates above those thresholds. “These [tax] changes will affect only about 10,000 of the wealthiest families in the country,” states Senator Warren’s press release on the bill.
NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel was quoted in Senator Warren’s press release, stating the affordable housing legislation “would help millions of the lowest income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and individuals who struggle to pay rent and the half a million people without a home at all. . . . Senator Warren’s proposal has the power to transform lives and communities.”