A bill calling for the construction of more than three million new homes across the country has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The measure, which will also fund the rehabilitation of existing housing properties, is designed to provide more affordable housing options and would put some $50 billion in federal spending annually into two existing federal housing funds.
Those funds are the National Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund.
Warren’s legislation would also expand the 42 year-old Community Reinvestment Act, while providing increased incentives for local governments to eliminate what are often regarded as burdensome land use restrictions.
For its part, the National Housing Trust Fund would be tapped into by the states to build, rehabilitate, or preserve existing housing structures.
Warren would raise the federal estate tax to 2009 levels to provide some of the funding for her legislation. That tax applies to only the most expensive properties in the country and has been marginally reduced in the last decade.
The proposal has won the support of the Boston-based Housing Advisory Group. David Gasson, executive director of the organization, said Warren’s bill would “create jobs, housing and opportunities that have been so limited for the constituencies it would assist.”
In a statement Warren said her legislation would both substantially reduce housing costs nationally and “give families in urban, rural, and suburban communities more economic security.”
Warren’s bill is currently under review in the Senate Committee on Finance.
By Garry Boulard
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