3/12/2024 in News & Media, Press Releases

President Biden’s FY 2025 Budget Plan for Housing is an Important Initial Step; A Comprehensive Approach is Needed to Tackle the Nation’s Fair and Affordable Housing Crisis

March 13, 2024
Contact: Janelle Brevard | jbrevard@nationalfairhousing.org

Washington, D.C. — In response to President Joe Biden’s recently released FY 2025 budget plan, Nikitra Bailey, Executive Vice President of the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA™), issued the following statement:

“The inability to access fair and affordable housing is affecting every facet of a person’s life, including vital resources like clean air and water, well-resourced schools, safe credit, quality internet services, and robust job opportunities.

Housing continues to be a major driver of inflation impacting families from coast to coast, in rural, urban and suburban areas. Without comprehensive action, individuals and families will continue to struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Data shows the housing market’s impact on inflation will not subside until the end of 2024 or beyond, and the U.S. needs between 4 million to 7 million new housing units. Voters are seeking bi-partisan support for sensible policies to address the skyrocketing cost of housing, including continually rising mortgage interest rates.

President Biden’s recently released FY 2025 budget plan includes crucial priorities such as:

  • Necessary funding for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to conduct its vital work protecting women, people of color, persons with disabilities, families with children, LGTBQ+ and more from over 4 million incidences of housing discrimination annually;
  • Increased support for Housing Choice Vouchers for renters who are low-income, older Americans, and persons with disabilities; and
  • $10 billion in funding for first-generation homebuyers based on a proposal NFHA developed with partners that is a proven strategy to grow homeownership opportunity in rural and urban communities with downpayment assistance to help consumers compete with all-cash investors.

Yet, significantly more is needed, and inaction is exacerbating the fair and affordable housing crisis for millions of individuals and families.

“The administration’s proposed tax credits and all federal housing and community development funding must be administered in a manner that creates vibrant and inclusive communities where all people can access the amenities necessary to thrive. Congress should pair them with legislation such as the Downpayment Toward Equity Act and the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act with fair housing principles incorporated. Everyday people are counting on our government to provide leadership and deliver the relief they deserve as the nation’s recovery from the pandemic has not benefitted everyone equally. In addition to President Biden’s proposal, the administration should:

  • Work with HUD to update the Fair Housing Initiatives Program to remove administrative barriers, streamline the process, and ensure funds flow to communities more quickly;
  • Crack down on discriminatory tenant screening algorithms and other AI that perpetuates bias in housing and lending decisions by fully enforcing existing civil rights laws;
  • Implement the plan to compel Federal Home Loan Banks to increase their investments in affordable housing development by increasing the amount of funds they contribute from 10% of their profits to 20% of their profits;
  • Complete all actions identified by the PAVE Task Force to help reduce unfair appraisal practices that work to lock communities of color out of the opportunity to fairly access credit; and
  • Ensure Fannie and Freddie implement protocols that promote fair housing throughout the country.

NFHA looks forward to working with lawmakers to ensure the work doesn’t stop here.”

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.