A bill, designed to provide up to $100 billion in funding for the construction of new housing and the maintenance of existing housing, is currently being reviewed by members of Congress.
The Housing Infrastructure Act of 2019, if passed, will increase funding budgets for several different public housing-related federal agencies, and will specifically commit $70 billion to address what is regarded as a current public housing backlog.
The bill also calls for providing $1 billion for the building and maintenance of the country’s rural public housing stock.
In introducing the measure, California Senator Kamala Harris said, “Too many Americans are fighting tooth and nail to keep a roof over their heads as our nation continues to face a housing affordability and homelessness crisis.”
Introduced in the House Financial Services Committee by chairwoman Maxine Waters of California, the measure would give $5 billion to the existing Housing Trust Fund for the construction of several hundred thousand new housing units geared for low-income households.
The Native American Housing Block Grant Program will receive $1 billion to take care of substandard housing conditions on tribal lands.
Also included in the legislation: $10 billion for the Community Development Block Grants program to incentivize states and cities in an effort to eliminate impact fees and reduce the process for the development of affordable housing.
Although the chances for passage of the Housing Infrastructure Act, especially in the Senate, are currently uncertain, the measure has won the support of a wide array of groups including the National Association of Home Builders and the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
By Garry Boulard
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