President-elect Joe Biden has started his transition planning after major news outlets called the election in his favor last weekend. His transition plan and his campaign have major items that would help housing in New York.

On BuildBackBetter – the transition plan website – Biden calls for immediate priorities related to COVID recovery, which may be partially addressed during the lame duck period before the new president takes office.

  • Aid to state and local governments
  • Extending crisis unemployment insurance
  • Assistance package for Main Street businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Creation of a public Health Jobs Corps to put people back to work.

However, rental assistance is not mentioned in Covid response priorities.

Overall, the transition plan focuses on four priority areas 1) COVID-19, 2) Economic Recovery, 3) Racial Equity and 4) Climate Change. Housing and issues that affect housing are mentioned in these priority areas. The plan also includes a strong emphasis on union labor throughout.

  • Economic Recovery– calls for state and local aid and unemployment assistance as well as supporting American manufacturing and building a modern infrastructure including universal broadband.
  • Racial Equity– proposes to reform Opportunity Zones, strengthen the Federal Reserve’s focus on racial economic gaps, and also points to his campaign’s housing plan and how it will support Black, Brown and Native families’ access to homeownership and affordable housing. See below for more detail on the campaign’s housing priorities.
  • Climate Change– proposes to upgrade 4 million buildings and weatherize 2 million homes and spur the construction of 1.5 million sustainable homes and housing units.

In addition, both Democrats and Republicans have said they want another Covid aid package during the lame duck session before Biden is sworn in early next year, though there still appears to be distance between the sides on how much aid is needed. We are also ready to advocate for the expansion of resources in any stimulus or recovery package next year.

Campaign Plan

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign had an expansive housing plan, proposing $640 billion over ten years, focused on ending discriminatory practices in housing, providing assistance for renters and homeowners, investing in affordability, resilience and accessibility, and supporting strategies to end homelessness. Below are bullets of the proposals is the campaign housing plan.

  • Ending redlining and other discriminatory and unfair practices
    • Homeowners’ and renters’ bill of rights
    • Legal assistance for renters facing eviction
    • Eliminate regulations that perpetuate discrimination
    • Hold financial institutions accountable for discriminatory practices
    • Strengthen & expand CRA
    • Rollback Trump’s gutting for fair lending and fair housing protections
    • Restore federal government’s power to enforce settlements against discriminatory lenders
    • Tackle racial bias that leads to homes in communities of color assessed below market value
  • Financial assistance for renters and homeowners
    • Refundable, advanceable tax credit of $15,000 for down payment
    • Section 8 vouchers to every eligible family (GAME CHANGER IN ENDING HOUSING INSTABILITY & HOMELESSNESS)
    • Renter’s tax credit
    • Expand housing benefits for first-responders, public school educators, and others who commit to living in persistently impoverished communities
    • Create Public Credit Reporting Agency
  • Increase supply, lower the cost and improve the quality of housing (MAJOR BOOST TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING)
    • $100 billion affordable housing fund
    • $65 billion for state housing authorities and Indian Housing Block Grant
    • $10 billion to make homes more energy efficient
    • $5 billion to HOME program
    • $20 billion for Housing Trust Fund
    • Expand LIHTC with $10 billion investment. Also support Neighborhood Homes Investment Act
    • $10 billion for CDBG over 10 years
    • Eliminate state and local regulations that limit affordable housing
    • Ensure minority-owned businesses benefit from investment in housing
    • Increase funding for affordable rural housing
    • Expand funding for Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
    • Expand New Markets Tax Credit – $5 billion per year
    • All new investments will require Davis-Bacon
  • End homelessness
    • National strategy making housing a right for all
    • Waters’ Ending Homelessness Act – $13 billion over five years
    • Housing First approach in federal programs
    • Reduce homelessness among veterans
    • Protect LGBTQ individuals
    • Support Section 202 and 811 to expand supportive housing and services for individuals with disabilities and the elderly
    • Set a national goal of 100% formerly incarcerated individuals have housing upon reentry
  • Survivors of Domestic Violence
    • Coordinated housing initiative
    • Expand access to housing assistance – strengthen VAWA
    • Protect survivors from discrimination

While public housing will be benefit from many of the affordable housing programs, there is not an explicit commitment to increase the public capital housing or operating budgets. However, there is reference to preservation of public buildings and also preservation of housing in the campaign’s Infrastructure and Clean Energy priorities.

We will be working hard with our partners across the state and the country to support these game-changing policies and to also ensure that NYC’s public housing is preserved.