White House releases plan to boost housing supply
The White House on Monday outlined a plan to boost housing availability and lower costs for renters and homeowners, portraying it as part of a broader effort to combat inflation for Americans.
The administration released a “Housing Supply Action Plan” that officials said would produce more housing supply, including affordable units, in the next five years.
“When aligned with other policies to reduce housing costs and ensure affordability, such as rental assistance and down payment assistance, closing the gap will mean more affordable rents and more attainable homeownership for Americans in every community,” the White House said in an outline of the plan.
Among the measures detailed as part of the plan are using new financing mechanisms to build and preserve more housing where there are currently financing gaps and expanding federal financing by making certain loans more widely available for multifamily developments.
The plan also includes steps to ensure government-owned housing goes to owners who will live in the dwellings, or nonprofits who will rehab the buildings, rather than large investment firms that may neglect the properties.
The administration also said it will work with private sector companies to improve supply chain issues that hamper construction, with the goal of finishing construction on more new homes this year than in any year since 2006.
The plan also includes a call to action for Congress. The White House urged lawmakers to pass President Biden’s Unlocking Possibilities Program, which was passed last year by the House and would establish a new $1.75 billion grant program through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The White House also urged lawmakers to pass Biden’s 2023 budget request, which includes a proposal for $10 billion in HUD grants to increase accessibility to affordable housing.
The housing supply plan was released as the White House has offered myriad proposals to address rising costs that have hampered Biden’s agenda and contributed to stagnant approval ratings for months.
The president last week called addressing inflation his “top domestic priority” and acknowledged the difficulties many Americans are facing with high prices of gasoline, food and other goods.
The administration last month announced it would send millions of dollars to states to help offset high home energy costs in another attempt to ease the burden on homeowners.