NLIHC Endorses Bill to Make Childcare Available at Affordable Housing Buildings

NLIHC endorsed the “Build Housing with Care Act” (H.R.9375), which would make childcare more accessible to residents living in affordable housing developments. Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and 12 House colleagues on December 1, the legislation would provide funding to help construct childcare centers within affordable housing developments and facilitate partnerships between such developments and childcare providers.

NLIHC’s annual report The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes finds that no state has an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for the lowest-income renters. The U.S. has a shortage of 7 million rental homes affordable and available to extremely low-income renters, whose household incomes are at or below the poverty guideline, or 30% of their area median income – whichever is higher. With rents on the rise across the country, many low-income families are struggling to afford basic living expenses, such as housing and food. The high cost of childcare exacerbates such burdens, as families with children spend an average of 13% of their income on childcare.

The “Build Housing with Care Act” would provide $500 million in grant funding for the planning and construction of childcare centers co-located with affordable housing and prioritize projects located in areas with limited access to childcare, areas that include a qualified Head Start provider, and areas that serve low-income families. The legislation would also direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the impact of the cost of childcare and other basic needs on public housing residents and explore how federal resources can be used to support the needs of low-income families.

Families face a variety of cost burdens that limit their access to affordable housing options. One such burden is the high cost of childcare. By locating childcare facilities in affordable housing buildings, families with children would more easily be able to access affordable childcare, allowing them to achieve increased stability and a better quality of life.

Learn more about the “Build Housing with Care Act” here.

Read Representative Bonamici’s press release here.