FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2021
Media Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | IWoodruff@nationalfairhousing.org
National Fair Housing Alliance Statement on Sen. Joe Manchin’s Announcement Opposing the Build Back Better Act
Washington, D.C. — Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), issued the following statement today after Sen. Joe Manchin announced he would not support the Build Back Better Act, which includes significant funding for first-generation down payment assistance, the single-largest investment in fair housing enforcement in our nation’s history, and vital funds for community revitalization through the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act:
“Sen. Joe Manchin’s decision to oppose the Build Back Better Act is extremely troubling as it is a missed opportunity to deliver upon election promises made to hardworking families in West Virginia and throughout the nation. It is a slap in the face to the honest, good-faith, diligent efforts of hundreds of community- and consumer-based organizations that have worked for a year with members of Congress and the White House to develop a comprehensive package to address some of the nation’s deepest challenges. These include a chronic lack of affordable housing, growing economic and housing inequality, increasing threats to the climate and environment, disinvestments in neighborhoods hit hardest by the Great Recession and COVID pandemic, inability of families to access affordable childcare, stagnant wages, and so much more.
“This transformational bill includes the largest investment in expanding housing and homeownership opportunities and combatting housing discrimination in U.S. history. Like families throughout the nation, West Virginia families are struggling with the rising cost of housing, and the Build Back Better Act would take critically important steps toward ensuring fair and affordable housing is accessible to more families.
“Sen. Manchin’s announcement today cannot thwart progress. The National Fair Housing Alliance strongly urges him to reconsider his position on this historic legislation. For the sake of our communities and families, we also urge Republican members of Congress to support the Build Back Better Act. Members who do not support this popular legislation may be doing so at their own political peril. Overwhelmingly, Americans across the political spectrum support key components of the Build Back Better Act. Americans believe that every child should have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing; that zip codes should not determine a person’s outcome in life; and that the nation should make significant investments to improve housing and strengthen communities.
“The housing investments in the Build Back Better Act would not only help victims of housing and lending discrimination, they would also make significant progress toward a more equitable society and create a more prosperous future for generations. We urge Sen. Manchin to come back to the negotiating table, and we strongly encourage members of the GOP to work with the White House to pass the Build Back Better Act. If they fail to do so, the Biden-Harris Administration must consider every action that is available to deliver the legislation to the American people who voted overwhelmingly for their promise to Build Back Better. We can no longer afford Manchin and the Republicans’ efforts to obstruct forward progress.”
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 throughout the U.S. and its territories, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.