FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2021
Media Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org
National Fair Housing Alliance Statement on the House Passage of the Build Back Better Act
Washington, D.C. — Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), issued the following statement after the House passed President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which includes significant funding for first-generation down payment assistance and the single-largest investment in local fair housing enforcement in our nation’s history:
“We applaud the House of Representatives today for passing the Build Back Better Act, the largest investment in basic housing and fair housing enforcement infrastructure needs in U.S. history. In addition to funding the first-generation downpayment assistance (DPA) program, the legislation includes our nation’s most significant investment in affordable housing with support for the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, a tax credit program designed to develop and rehab affordable housing units; the Community Restoration and Revitalization Fund, which will help stabilize and revitalize rural and urban communities and neighborhoods of color that have yet to recover from the Great Recession; major investments to shore up our nation’s public housing stock; an increase in Housing Vouchers, including a set-aside for survivors of domestic and sexual violence; funding to support the development of climate-resilient and energy-efficient affordable homes; and much more.
“This funding represents a historic investment in people and the first step in closing the racial wealth gap through support to help Black, Latino, Native, and Asian-American Pacific Islander families achieve homeownership. The Build Back Better Act’s investment in our nation’s fair housing enforcement infrastructure will support the nation’s network of nonprofit full-service fair housing enforcement organizations and local government civil and human rights agencies to ensure that each and every person’s right to housing opportunities is protected. With over 4 million instances of housing discrimination occurring each year, this significant support for fair housing is long overdue.
“There is no housing justice without racial justice, and there will be no long-term economic viability in this nation unless we dismantle structural barriers that preclude people from accessing the opportunities they need to thrive. The more we tackle the canker of racial injustice, the more we strengthen our financial and economic productivity. Eliminating discriminatory barriers would add up to $5 trillion to our GDP over a 5 year period. Thus, passing the Build Back Better Act represents both a moral and economic imperative for this nation.
“We call upon the Senate to move quickly to pass the Build Back Better Act, marking a significant step towards righting the historic wrongs of housing policies that denied families of color security and prosperity. Overwhelmingly, Americans across the political spectrum believe that every child should have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing, and Zip codes or where we live should not determine success in life.
“We thank Speaker Pelosi and Chairwoman Waters for their stellar leadership and outspoken advocacy on racial equity and for working to ensure that more families can have a safe roof over their heads. Today, we celebrate this milestone while reinvigorating ourselves to fight for a more just and inclusive society.”
The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is the country’s only national civil rights organization dedicated solely to eliminating all forms of housing and lending discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all people. As the trade association for over 200 fair housing and justice-centered organizations throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.