FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2021
Media Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org
National Fair Housing Alliance Statement on Housing Funding in the Build Back Better Act Framework
Washington, D.C. — National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) President and CEO, Lisa Rice, issued the following statement today after Congressional leaders released the framework for the Build Back Better Act, which includes significant funding for housing programs, including the first-generation down payment assistance program and the single-largest investment in fair housing enforcement in our nation’s history.
“Families of color in search of a home are at a significant disadvantage compared to their White counterparts, often lacking the necessary down payment to qualify for a mortgage due to a system of discriminatory federal government and housing industry policies that made it nearly impossible for them to build intergenerational wealth. The housing funding included in the Build Back Better Act is an important first step as we begin to correct these racial inequities. By funding the first-generation down payment assistance (DPA) program, we have a real opportunity to spur economic growth and strengthen local economies. Just a $30 billion investment in first-generation DPA would yield $141 billion in additional economic impact and generate thousands of living-wage jobs.
“The funding in this bill is a strong and historic investment in communities that have long faced discrimination in our nation’s housing market, and it marks progress towards closing the racial wealth gap through investments aimed at helping Black, Latino, Native, and Asian American Pacific Islander families achieve homeownership. It will also make a major investment in our nation’s fair housing enforcement infrastructure to ensure that the public’s right to housing opportunities, free from discrimination, is protected.
“We cannot achieve racial justice without housing justice. NFHA urges Congress and the Biden Administration to make this investment the first of many as we work to adequately fund housing programs in our country. We thank Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Chairwoman Waters, Chairman Brown, and Senator Warnock for their outspoken advocacy on racial equity and to ensure every family has a safe roof over their head. Today, we celebrate this milestone while committing ourselves to the continued fight to ensure fair and affordable housing is available to every person in our country.”
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.