Washington, DC – The connection between affordable homes and infrastructure is clear: like roads and bridges, affordable homes are long-term assets that help communities and the lowest-income families thrive. With today's passage of the “Moving Forward Act,” which includes the “Housing is Infrastructure Act” (H.R. 5187) introduced by House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), Congress took an important step towards addressing one of the most critical issues facing extremely low-income families today – the lack of decent, accessible, and affordable housing.
It is essential that any infrastructure package includes significant resources to build and preserve homes affordable to our nation’s lowest-income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and others. The Moving Forward and Housing is Infrastructure Acts would invest $100 billion to construct and preserve 1.8 million affordable homes, through $70 billion for public housing capital repairs and $5 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund. They would also invest $1 billion for the Native American Housing Block Grant Program to create or rehabilitate over 8,800 affordable homes for Native Americans on tribal lands, among other investments. The bill also: expands the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and improves the program by incentivizing deeper affordability and development in rural and tribal communities; removes the “Faircloth Amendment” that prohibits development of new public housing, and promotes the inclusion of minority- and women-owned businesses in infrastructure projects by requiring grantees to conduct outreach to inform them of such opportunities made possible by the new funding.
The housing investments could be used quickly to repair America’s deteriorating public housing infrastructure by fixing leaky roofs, replacing outdated heating systems, and remediating mold to improve the health and living conditions for millions, while creating local jobs and protecting a key piece of America’s affordable rental housing stock. The funding provided through the national Housing Trust Fund would make new homes available to the lowest-income renters by providing flexible block grants to states to build, rehabilitate and operate affordable housing.
NLIHC applauds Chairwoman Waters for introducing her Housing is Infrastructure Act to make robust infrastructure investments in affordable housing and in the repair of our nation’s public housing stock, as well as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for including those investments in the Moving Forward Act. America’s affordable housing crisis is solvable but requires significant federal investments. A comprehensive infrastructure package that invests in preserving and building deeply affordable rental homes for America’s poorest families is an important step to reducing homelessness and housing poverty in America.