NFHA Enthusiastically Supports the Biden-Harris Administration FY24 Budget’s Fair and Affordable Housing Priorities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2023
Contact: Izzy Woodruff | 202-898-1661 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the Biden-Harris Administration released highlights from its Fiscal Year 2024 budget request to Congress. The proposed budget doubles down on the Administration’s promise to make racial equity a centerpiece of its domestic policy, and it recognizes the deep fair and affordable housing crisis our nation continues to face. This proposal requests from Congress a total of $175 billion in housing funding and tax credits, indicating that housing investments are finally being prioritized to curb the core driver of inflation and spur inclusive economic growth. The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) is proud to have advocated for many of the critical housing programs in the President’s budget request.
“If you want to know what really matters to a presidential administration, check out its budget. Where entities commit their funding tells you a lot about their priorities and values. A look at President Biden’s budget for the next fiscal year clearly demonstrates his commitment to expanding fair and affordable housing in this country and lifting up people who have been deliberately sidelined by our nation’s long history of unjust policies, practices, and investments. I am particularly pleased that this administration is committing funding to enforcing our nation’s fair housing and lending laws, supporting locally- and regionally-based fair housing organizations, increasing access to Housing Choice Vouchers, knocking down restrictive and regressive zoning and permitting practices that impede the development of affordable housing, and ensuring HUD can fully implement the proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule,” said Lisa Rice, NFHA’s President and CEO.
“Budgets are moral documents that reflect our nation’s values, hopes, and priorities. For years, the federal government underfunded needed investments in fair and affordable housing. Today, the Biden-Harris Administration reversed course and righted the ship by centering fair and affordable housing in its rightful place to spur inclusive economic growth,” said Nikitra Bailey, NFHA’s Executive Vice President. “The President’s budget provides necessary financial relief for everyday families struggling with the rising cost of housing and housing’s outsized role in driving inflation. The budget is forward looking and creates pathways of opportunity for millions of our nation’s renters and ladders to homeownership for millions of mortgage-ready consumers from urban and rural communities to pursue their American dreams. It also recognizes housing’s central role in the health of the national economy and builds on many lessons learned during the COVID pandemic to ensure that no community is left behind.”
At the core of the Administration’s budget proposal is a commitment to racial equity and fairness in the housing market. The President’s budget requests $90 million to support state and local fair housing organizations that are essential to addressing discrimination in the housing market, an increase of $8 million over FY23 enacted levels. The Biden-Harris Administration also proposes increases to staffing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and technical assistance to implement the Fair Housing Act’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing provision. Additionally, the proposal shows an appreciation for the continuing harm that our nation’s history of government-sponsored segregation and financial exclusion has inflicted on families of color and rural residents by calling for $100 million for a downpayment assistance pilot program for first-generation homeowners and first-time homebuyers with limited assets, and $10 billion in mandatory funding for a new First-Generation Down Payment Assistance program. This proposal is largely based on a framework developed by NFHA and the Center for Responsible Lending.
The Administration’s budget outline calls for expanded tax credit solutions to help spur the development and preservation of affordable housing. Included in the proposed budget is $16 billion in funding for the creation of the Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit, which is based on the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, and would incentivize the rehabilitation of distressed properties for purchase by low- or middle-income homeowners. It is critical that this tax credit and all others are implemented in a manner that incorporates fair housing principles and prevents neighborhood gentrification. The budget proposal also invests $28 billion to expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to increase the supply of affordable housing for low-income renters, and the Administration calls for improvements to the program to increase the development of units.
In addition to these important investments, the President’s budget preview requests the following investments in housing:
- $32.7 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher program;
- $25 million for supportive services that promote housing mobility and choice;
- $13 billion over the course of 10 years for Housing Choice Vouchers targeted to youth aging out of foster care and extremely low-income veterans;
- $3 billion to support state and local reforms that prevent evictions, such as emergency rental assistance, rent relief, legal counsel, housing counselors, and court navigators;
- $3.7 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants to renew existing grants and expand assistance to additional households, with a focus on survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking and homeless youth;
- $7.5 billion for new Project-Based Rental Assistance for extremely –low-income households;
- $10 billion for planning and housing capital grants to incentivize state and local jurisdictions to identify and remove barriers to affordable housing development;
- $7.5 billion to rehabilitate and preserve distressed public housing;
- $1.8 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program to construct or rehabilitate affordable rental housing and downpayment assistance grants;
- $258 million to support new permanently affordable housing units for people with disabilities and the elderly;
- $1 billion for affordable housing development in tribal communities; and
- $505 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program.
We are encouraged by the available details of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget request, and we look forward to advocating for the investments that will address our nation’s fair and affordable housing crisis and spur inclusive economic growth.
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. Through its homeownership, credit access, tech equity, education, member services, public policy, community development, and enforcement initiatives, NFHA works to dismantle longstanding barriers to equity and build diverse, inclusive, well-resourced communities.