Build Back Better Bill Maintains Funding for Affordable Housing
On Nov. 3, the House Rules Committee released amended text for the Build Back Better Act. The amended text includes $150 billion in funding for affordable housing and community development. If enacted, this bill would provide historic levels of funding for housing.
The Build Back Better bill has gained additional momentum after the House passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package on Nov. 5. The enactment of the infrastructure bill is a significant investment in roads, bridges, ports, pipes, and more that is widely expected to make business, deliveries, and commuting easier in the United States. And the Build Back Better bill includes climate and social spending measures that include major investments in affordable housing. In addition to the following affordable housing investments, the bill also provides $1 billion to HUD for oversight, technical assistance, and administration of the investments in the legislation.
Although the total amount of funding for housing in the Build Back Better agreement is lower than the amount included in the version of the bill passed by the House Financial Services Committee in September, it still includes historic levels of funding for key housing programs.
Public housing. The legislation provides a $65 billion investment to preserve public housing infrastructure. This funding includes $53 billion for priority investments determined by the Secretary at HUD; $10 billion for the Capital Fund; and $1.2 billion in competitive grants to transform public housing and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Housing vouchers. The proposal provides $24 billion for housing vouchers. This includes $15 billion for new vouchers for extremely low-income families (30 percent of area median income) and $7.1 billion for new vouchers for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and survivors of trafficking.
The bill also provides $1 billion for tenant protection vouchers (TPVs) for relocation and replacement of public housing units that are demolished or disposed as part of a public housing repositioning transaction made available in this framework. And there is an allocation of $300 million for competitive grants for PHAs for mobility-related services for voucher families, including families with children, and service coordination.
The bill includes $230 million for eligible expenses to facilitate the use of voucher assistance as determined by HUD. These funds may be used for property owner outreach, retention activities such as incentive payments, security deposit payments, loss reserves, landlord liaisons, other uses such as recruiting owners of units in low-poverty areas and to encourage owners to participate in the voucher program.
Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA). The bill includes $880 million for PBRA, $20 million for technical assistance, and $100 million for the costs of HUD implementing the program. Amounts appropriated will remain available until Sept. 30, 2031.
Affordable and accessible housing production. The bill provides $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and $10 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME). HOME provides grants to states and units of general local government to implement local housing strategies designed to increase homeownership and affordable housing opportunities for low and very low-income Americans. The program can fund a range of services, including direct rental assistance and the construction, purchasing, or rehabilitation of affordable housing for rent or homeownership.
Rural Rental Housing. The legislation provides $2 billion of investments in Rural Rental Housing to preserve housing under the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing and Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing programs.
Housing Investment Fund. The bill proposes $750 million for the Housing Investment Fund. Of these funds, $740 million will be made available for the program, and $10 million will be set aside for program administration. The bill states this fund will be established within the Community Development Financial Institution Fund and provide grants to invest in the development, preservation, rehabilitation, financing, or purchase of affordable housing for renters and homeowners within 120 percent of the area median income. These funds can also be used for economic development and community projects related to housing.
Additional housing investments. The bill also includes $2 billion for improving energy efficiency or water efficiency or climate resilience of affordable housing; $1.6 billion for revitalization of distressed multifamily properties; $1 billion for Native American communities; $500 million for Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities; and $500 million for Section 202 supportive housing for the elderly program.