FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2022
Media Contact: IWoodruff@NationalFairHousing.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nikitra Bailey, Executive Vice President at the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), issued the following statement regarding the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022:
“There is still time to add critically needed housing investments to the new Senate reconciliation deal, a move that would amplify its anti-inflationary impact. By significantly restricting support for housing, the Senate will miss an opportunity to offer immediate relief to the nation’s families and economy and tackle the largest contributor to core inflation.
“The Reconciliation deal, and specifically, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, is at odds with the economic data. Providing meaningful, targeted investments in housing would generate billions in local revenue, create thousands of jobs, and provide relief to millions of consumers who are struggling with skyrocketing rents or home prices while the costs of everyday necessities soar. According to the S&P/CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, home prices rose 10.4% in 2020 and another 18.8% in 2021. Rental housing prices rose 17.6% in 2021, far outpacing income increases. The Consumer Price Index rose 7.9% in the last year, the highest increase since 1982, and housing costs accounted for more than 40% of the increase, making housing the single largest contributor to inflation.
“The housing market has been buffeted by challenges from all directions: low inventory, supply chain disruptions, rising lumber costs, labor shortages, restrictive zoning ordinances, competition from corporate investors for scarce housing stock, redlining, and a lack of effective fair housing enforcement. Congress and the president have the tools to make a difference in all those areas. Moreover, Americans want our nation’s housing woes resolved. A recent Bipartisan Policy Center/Morning Consult Poll shows that the public wants their elected leaders to create equitable housing opportunities that keep the American Dream intact for everyone.
“To make this landmark legislation a timely vehicle to address a key driver of inflation, the Reconciliation Package needs to prioritize:
- Strong support for fair housing groups working to eliminate housing inequality and combat redlining and discrimination by providing $700 million for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program and $100 million for the Fair Housing Assistance Program.
- Meaningful support for measures to address housing affordability, inventory, and supply challenges. This should include funding for the Downpayment Toward Equity Act, which provides for a First-Generation Downpayment Assistance Program; the Community Restoration and Revitalization Fund; the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act; the Unlocking Possibilities Program; the Investing in Native Communities initiative; the National Housing Trust; increasing the number of housing vouchers; project-based rental assistance; and shoring up the nation’s public housing stock.
- Targeting dollars to help train more people in the building trades fields and prioritizing projects in communities that are working with the federal government to remove bureaucracies and restrictive zoning as well as lower the cost of housing development.”
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 170 fair housing and justice-centered organizations and individuals throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.