Vice President Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris Announces Historic Funding To Lower Housing Prices

Vice President Kamala Harris announced new federal grants with the goal of building more housing to lower housing and rental costs.

A New Round Of Grants To Build More Housing And Lower Costs

According to a White House fact sheet provided to PoliticusUSA:

Recognizing that every community is different, the grants announced today are critical to breaking down local barriers that stand in the way of housing development and lower costs. Common barriers to housing identified in the PRO Housing applications include the high cost of land and development, underutilized vacant land and property, aging housing stock, inadequate infrastructure, displacement pressures, risks of extreme weather or environment hazards, and outdated land-use and permitting policies and processes.

The demand for these awards was substantial, with requests exceeding $13 for every $1 available Applications came from more than 175 communities across 47 states and territories, representing diverse demographics and geographic settings. The Biden-Harris Administration will also release an additional $100 million in PRO Housing funding later this summer.

The awards announced today build upon the historic levels of funding made available for housing, infrastructure, and community resilience by the Biden-Harris Administration. The President’s FY25 Budget proposes a historic investment of more than $258 billion in housing, including a $20 billion Innovation Fund for Housing Expansion, which would provide critical support to further eliminate barriers to housing, spur development, and encourage innovative housing solutions.

HUD is awarding $85 million in funding through PRO Housing to 21 winners. The winners include jurisdictions ranging from under 5,000 residents in a rural community to millions of people across an urban county. In addition to the grant funding, winners will be invited to participate in a technical assistance cohort to facilitate peer learning and implementation support.

HUD will also offer technical assistance for communities who applied for round one funding and other HUD grantees committed to addressing barriers to housing – highlighting how annual grants and low-cost federal financing can be used to adopt housing-forward strategies and boost housing supply.

Vice President Harris Explains How The Grants Will Increase The Housing Supply

Vice President Harris told PoliticusUSA during a call with reporters:

I am proud to announce we are investing $85 million with another $100 million later this summer to help more than 20 cities remove these barriers. One such barrier is that it can be difficult for affordable housing developers to be able to afford to buy and develop land. To address this in Milwaukee, our investment will help the city provide subsidies to builders to help them develop vacant lots and abandoned buildings into affordable housing. Another barrier that often limits building is in a sufficient infrastructure.

For example, in Denver, there are plots of land available, but not yet connected to the electric grid. Through this investment, we will help Denver offer loans to developers to build the power lines and water mains that are necessary for new housing. This investment is part of the larger strategy to lower rents and help more Americans buy a home. President, Biden and I have proposed a national housing plan to build 2 million units of affordable housing. Our plan will also help millions of families afford to buy their first home. We will give those who are the first in their family, first generation in their family, to buy a home, $25,000 for a down payment, and will give millions of first time homebuyers $400 a month to help them meet their mortgage. We continue to demand that the United States Congress pass our housing plan.

Biden And Harris Move To Make Housing More Affordable

The housing affordability crisis didn’t begin with the pandemic, but has been going on for decades. There was a housing bubble under George W. Bush that collapsed and led to the Great Recession. However, home ownership affordability started declining in 1960s, accelerated as wage growth did not keep up with home prices.

We’ve all heard presidents talk about the need for home affordability for the last forty years or more, but the Biden administration has a comprehensive plan to build more housing which creates more supply to ease demand.

What Biden and Harris are trying to do won’t solve the crisis in four years, but it is the first serious plan that goes beyond creating a mortgage bubble that the country has had in a very long time, but all of this progress will vanish if Democrats lose the White House in November.

Jason Easley
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