Washington, DC –As President Biden and congressional leaders continue negotiations over what provisions will be included in the pared-down “Build Back Better Act,” over 160 member of Congress and almost 1,800 organizations from across the country urge that targeted housing investments remain in the bill.
“The housing provisions in the Build Back Better Act are at a make-or-break moment,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Our collective actions over the last week have put housing back in the bill after the funding was nearly eliminated. Together, we’re making a final push for the highest possible funding for targeted housing investments that can end homelessness, preserve public housing, and pave a path towards universal rental assistance. If done right and enacted, this will be the most consequential federal housing bill in our lifetimes. If done poorly or not at all, it will be years or decades before we have this chance again.”
The current $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better Act” includes $327 billion in affordable housing investments and community development funding that will likely be reduced as the total package is cut by $1.5-2 trillion. Advocates across the country joined NLIHC and congressional champions to show support for these crucial investments and urge the White House and congressional leaders to provide the highest funding possible for affordable housing in the bill.
Representative Ritchie Torres (D-NY) and Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Alex Padilla (D-CA) led “Dear Colleague” letters in the House and Senate to show widespread congressional support for essential and targeted housing investments, for those most in need, including:
- $90 billion to expand rental assistance to 1 million of the lowest-income households;
- $80 billion to repair and preserve public housing for over 2.5 million low-income renters; and
- $37 billion for the national Housing Trust to build and preserve 330,000 rental homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes.
Thirty six senators and 125 representatives, more than half of the Democratic caucus, signed on to the letters! In addition, more than 1,760 national, state, and local organizations around the country have signed and shared with congressional leaders a letter calling on Congress to protect these critical housing investments for those most in need.
Advocates and key members of Congress are making clear: any cuts to Build Back Better must not come at the expense of housing our country’s lowest-income people.
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