On September 25, 2018 Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), introduced the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2018 which would dramatically expand funding for the for affordable housing.
The measure aims to use federal funding as leverage to build up to 3.2 million new housing units for lower-income and middle-class families – bringing down rents by 10% and creating 1.5 million new jobs according to an independent analysis from Moody’s Analytics. This bill will help address the shortage of millions of affordable homes nationwide by:
- Investing $445 billion in the Housing Trust Fund to build, rehabilitate, and operate up to 2.1 million homes for low-income families, including in rural areas and in Indian country where housing quality is especially poor.
- Investing $25 billion in the Capital Magnet Fund, which will be leveraged 10:1 with private capital, to build more than 835,000 new homes and develop vibrant communities for lower-income and middle-class families.
- Investing $4 billion in a new Middle-Class Housing Emergency Fund, which supports construction of homes for middle-class buyers and renters where there’s a supply shortage and housing costs are rising faster than incomes.
- Investing $523 million in rural housing programs to create 380,000 rentals and help 17,000 families buy homes.
- Investing $2 billion in the Indian Housing Block Grant to build or rehabilitate 200,000 homes on tribal land.
Additionally, the measure seeks to reduces the cost of housing across America by creating incentives for local governments to eliminate unnecessary land use restrictions that drive up costs. Local land use rules can significantly increase construction costs, making it unattractive to build housing for anyone but the richest Americans. The bill puts $10 billion into a new competitive grant program that communities can use to build infrastructure, parks, roads, or schools. To be eligible, local governments must reform land use rules that restrict construction of new affordable housing. The measure also seeks reforms to the Community Revitalization Act (CRA), provides funding for down-payment assistance and addresses voucher mobility.
Click here for the legislative text
Click here for Senator Warren’s summary of the measure
Click here to read additional coverage in the Atlantic.
, legislation that would invest $445 billion in the Housing Trust Fund, $523 billion in rural housing programs and strengthen provisions in the Community Reinvestment Act to hold more financial intuitions accountable and strengthen sanctions for failure to follow rules. The legislation also limits zoning laws that make housing expensive and includes investment in the Capital Magnet Fund, the Indian Housing Block Grant program and creates a new Middle-Class Housing Emergency Fund. A summary of the legislation says it would fund as many as 3.2 million new housing units for lower- and middle-income families.