Biden administration details plan to cut housing costs nationwide

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge testifies at a Senate committee hearing in April. (Somodevilla chip / Pool Photo)

The Biden administration on Wednesday unveiled a plan to increase housing affordability through a series of policy changes planned to create and rehabilitate more than 2 million housing units, including 1 million rental units, in the nationwide as millions continue to fall out of the market, which has increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July, the median home price was $ 359,900, an 18% increase from last July, according to the National Assn. real estate agents. Researchers from Freddie Mac, the federally backed mortgage buyer, estimate that the United States has 3.8 million fewer homes than is needed to meet demand.

The Biden administration announced measures that would create, preserve and sell nearly 100,000 affordable homes over the next three years.

Officials also said the administration would work to make more single-family homes available to individuals, families and non-profit groups, rather than large investors who often convert units into rental properties, as well as to expand the availability of mortgages through Freddie Mac and his sister Fannie Mae. for some units.

The administration also announced efforts to use federal grants and tax credits to increase construction in economically vulnerable neighborhoods.

The White House has said it will use incentives to reduce exclusionary zoning at the national and local levels. These zoning ordinances often impose minimum lot sizes and ban all homes, except single-family, on residential land, increasing housing costs as it limits supply. According to experts, it disproportionately costs blacks and Latinos to buy homes.

Federal efforts echo movements already underway in California. Lawmakers on Monday gave final passage to a bill that would allow more units in neighborhoods now zoned only for single-family homes. State agencies are also buying buildings in hopes of filling the shortage of affordable housing in the state.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development also announced a plan to re-launch a program with the Department of the Treasury through its Federal Housing Administration to assist states, which would provide low-cost capital through housing agencies. State housing finance for the development of affordable rental housing.

Authorities predict that around 20,000 affordable rental units will be created or preserved until 2027, according to a press release from HUD.

Biden “has promised to dramatically expand the supply of affordable rental housing in our country, and today we are delivering on that commitment,” Housing Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said. tweeted Wednesday. “We will continue to pursue bold actions to create and preserve affordable housing for all Americans.”

One of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is a change in housing preferences. Many people have swapped their cramped apartments for more spacious suburban homes as they planned to spend time at home to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.

But the White House Council of Economic Advisers warned that the housing shortage existed long before the start of the pandemic.

“[While the] The pandemic may have transformed preferences and caused disruption in the supply chain, it did not create the underlying supply constraints in the housing market, which reduced the stock of rental housing and housing. homes for sale, ”according to a blog posted by the council on Wednesday.

Diane Yentel, chair of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington-based advocacy group, welcomed the administration’s announcement. “The affordable housing crisis in the country requires multifaceted solutions – there is no silver bullet,” she said in a statement, adding that Wednesday’s actions taken together “can have an impact. significant on the housing affordability issues of low-income people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.


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