The White House announced on June 24 that it has reached an agreement with a bipartisan group of senators on an infrastructure package that could pass with bipartisan support. The deal does not include any investments to make housing affordable to America’s lowest-income and most marginalized households, despite calls for these investments by President Biden, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, and key members of Congress.
Democratic congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), insist that any bipartisan deal must be paired with a larger economic recovery package that would include the essential investments needed to address the nation’s affordable housing crisis. President Biden has vowed to move a bipartisan bill “in tandem” with a larger bill that would need to pass through budget reconciliation, and moderate Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) affirmed that both bills would need to move at the same time. The budget reconciliation process allows legislation to be enacted with a simple majority of 50 votes in the Senate, rather than the 60 votes typically required in the chamber.
If the HoUSed campaign’s top priorities are not included in the bipartisan infrastructure package, Congress must pass these necessary investments in a separate economic recovery bill with the remaining pieces of President Biden’s “American Jobs Plan.” That plan proposed $318 billion in affordable housing investments (see Memo, 6/1), including two of the HoUSed campaign’s top priorities: significant resources for public housing and the national Housing Trust Fund. The opportunity to enact robust housing investments may be lost if congressional leaders do not tie the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill with a much larger economic and housing recovery package.
Advocates should contact their representatives and senators and urge them to include in any economic recovery package the HoUSed campaign’s top priorities: expansion of rental assistance to every eligible household; $70 billion to repair public housing; and at least $40 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to build and preserve homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes.
Contact your representatives and senators at: https://www.govtrack.us/
Learn more about NLIHC’s HoUSed campaign at: https://nlihc.org/housed