Yesterday the Whitehouse officially released the framework for a $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act, including $150 billion for affordable housing. This includes:

  • $65 billion to repair and preserve public housing. This could make a significant dent in the $40 billion NYCHA capital need.
  • $25 billion in rental assistance that prioritizes extremely low-income households and those experiencing or at risk of homelessness and survivors of domestic violence
  • $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to build and preserve over 150,000 homes affordable to extremely low-income households – New York could receive over $1.6 billion
  • $10 billion for down payment assistance
  • $10 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program
  • $5 billion to address lead hazards and ensure healthy housing
  • $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants
  • $3 billion for a Community Restoration and Revitalization Fund
  • $2 billion for green preservation of HUD multifamily housing
  • $2 billion for rural housing
  • $1.75 billion to address zoning barriers to affordable housing
  • $1.5 billion to address health and safety concerns in HUD homes
  • $800 million for tribal housing
  • $700 million for fair housing activities
  • $500 million for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly
  • $500 million for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities
  • $250 million for a new “Housing Investment Fund” through the Capital Magnet Fund

We have concerns around the renewal duration of Section 8 rental assistance funds in this bill. Right now, the bill phases in vouchers over 5 years while funding them for a full 10 years. This limits the total number of vouchers that can issued and we recommend a 6 year funding period, which will significantly increase the total number of vouchers that may be issued.

For more information, see the analysis from NLIHC.

Critical fixes to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) have been left out of this framework including lowering the 50% test and an expansion of the 9% credit but we are hopeful that there is still an opportunity to include LIHTC as the tax provisions have not been finalized. We cannot fully address address affordable housing supply needs without fixing LIHTC. New York already uses all of its private activity bonds towards affordable housing and the bipartisan bill includes new uses for PABs that could compete with housing. We will continue to work with national groups to find opportunities to include some of this language.

Though we have been advocating to preserve the $330 billion proposed by House Financial Services, this is still a historic investment in affordable housing and will begin to address homelessness and housing insecurity in America. Coupled with billions for weatherization and energy efficiency and resilience included in the bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Act, this will be incredibly impactful for New York.

Just a few weeks ago, housing was at risk of being cut completely from the bill. A week ago, that number was at $100 billion. This $150 billion investment is the result of thousands of organizations and individuals advocating for affordable housing investment and making it clear to Washington that housing is infrastructure.