Former Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) joined other Democratic presidential candidates in releasing plans to address the nation’s affordable housing crisis. Vice President Biden’s plan, released on February 25, would invest $640 billion over 10 years “so every American has access to housing that is affordable, stable, safe and healthy, accessible, energy efficient and resilient, and located near good schools and with a reasonable commute to their jobs.” It would increase the supply of affordable housing, make rental assistance an entitlement for all who qualify, provide a renter’s tax credit, and invest in the proven Housing First model to end homelessness, among other provisions.
Vice President Biden’s proposal would invest $20 billion in the national Housing Trust Fund to support the construction and maintenance of affordable homes for people with the greatest needs. It would guarantee Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to every eligible household so these households will not have pay more than 30% of their incomes on their rents and utilities. The candidate’s plan would provide $5 billion in federal funding annually for a renter’s tax credit to support individuals and families who may earn too much to qualify for a Section 8 voucher but still struggle to pay their housing costs. The plan would invest $300 million in grants to incentivize local communities to eliminate exclusionary zoning policies, and it would implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule requiring communities receiving certain federal funds to proactively identify and address historic patterns of segregation and discrimination.
All of the major Democratic presidential candidates have now released affordable housing plans in response to the nation’s dire shortage of affordable homes. Nationwide, the shortfall of homes affordable and available to the lowest-income renters stands at 7 million, and just one in four deeply poor families that qualify for housing assistance receives it. In 99% of counties in the U.S., a full-time minimum-wage worker cannot afford a one-bedroom rental home at the Fair Market Rent, and seven out of the ten fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. do not pay enough to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment. Millions of the lowest-income households – seniors, people with disabilities, low-wage families with children, and others – are spending more than half of their incomes on their housing, with little left for food, medicines, and other necessities and at high risk of homelessness.
NLIHC’s nonpartisan Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020 candidate and voter engagement project is elevating solutions to the nation’s housing crisis in the presidential campaign and tracking what all the candidates have to say about housing and homelessness. Learn more at: www.ourhomes-ourvotes.org
Read Vice President Joe Biden housing plan at: https://www.ourhomes-ourvotes.org/biden