The Biden-Harris Administration Unveiled the American Jobs Plan
Authored by: Ahmad Abu-Khalaf, Alexander Williams and Finn Dobkin.
On March 31, the Biden-Harris Administration unveiled the American Jobs Plan, a framework for investing nearly $2 trillion in rebuilding the U.S. infrastructure, with a focus on stimulating the long-term recovery of the American economy, combating climate change and addressing persistent racial injustice. The proposal calls for boosting federal investment in a range of infrastructure systems, including housing, transportation, schools, broadband, electric grid and drinking water systems.
One of the plan’s priorities is investing $213 billion in the U.S. housing infrastructure to produce, preserve and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable homes. Under the high-level plan, this housing goal would be achieved through a range of investments and programs, which include using a combination of funding mechanisms to finance the construction, rehabilitation and retrofitting of over one million affordable and energy efficient housing units; investing $40 billion in improving the infrastructure of the U.S. public housing system; and enacting a new competitive federal grant program that would award funding to local jurisdictions that take steps to address barriers to affordable housing development.
The proposal also calls on Congress to pass the bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA), which would offer $20 billion in tax credits and is projected to finance the rehabilitation and creation of nearly 500,000 homes over five years. It also calls for expanding funding to the Weatherization Assistance Program and federal block grant programs that would be used by state and local jurisdictions to upgrade homes. Furthermore, the framework proposes establishing a $27 billion Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to facilitate public-private partnerships in energy resources, building retrofits and clean transportation.
Additionally, the plan calls for investing $50 billion to improve the resilience of our nation’s infrastructure against climate change. The Biden-Harris Administration calls for targeting these investments to support infrastructure in vulnerable communities through a range of federal programs, such as FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program and HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program.
Congressional leaders are expected to work with the Administration in the upcoming weeks on shaping an infrastructure package that details investments in specific federal programs, which could be considered and passed by Congress as early as this summer. Enterprise applauds the Biden-Harris Administration for including housing investments in the broader federal infrastructure proposal, and we urge lawmakers to include the plan’s housing priorities in any infrastructure legislation considered.