On November 3, the House Rules Committee released amended text for the Build Back Better Act. In addition to the $150 billion in proposed housing investments that were part of the draft released on October 28, the legislation now contains a number of Enterprise’s key tax priorities, namely the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit) and the Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit.
Following months of negotiations amongst lawmakers and administration officials, this moves Congress and the White House one step closer to enacting this meaningful legislation. Enterprise is pleased that Congress included many of our top priorities in the bill and is thankful for all the advocates and congressional champions we fought alongside for these critical housing provisions.
$150 Billion in Funding for New and Existing Affordable Housing & Community Development Programs
The amended text includes $150 billion in funding for affordable housing and community development, which, if enacted, would provide historic levels of funding for housing.
The housing proposals are split into four main sections detailed below.
Creating and Preserving Affordable, Equitable and Accessible Housing for the 21st Century
The legislation provides a $65 billion investment in the nation’s public housing infrastructure. This funding is split across a few areas, including $53 billion for priority investments determined by the Secretary at HUD, $10 billion for the Capital Fund, and $1.2 billion in competitive grants to transform public housing and the surrounding neighborhoods. Additional funding was also provided for implementation and technical assistance.
This Build Back Better proposal provides $24 billion for Housing Vouchers. Of the total investment in vouchers, $15 billion will go towards extremely low-income families, and $7.1 billion will target households experiencing or at risk of homelessness, survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and trafficking.
$1 billion will also be made available for tenant protection vouchers for relocation and replacement of public housing units in addition to $300 million to provide competitive grants for mobility-related services and $230 million to incentivize landlords to participate in the program. Lastly, the bill provides funding for program administration, technical assistance, and capacity building.
Investments in Affordable and Accessible Housing Production
The bill provides $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and $10 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME).HOME is one of the nation’s most flexible programs. It can fund a range of services, including direct rental assistance and the construction, purchasing, or rehabilitation of affordable housing for rent or homeownership.
The legislation also provides exemptions from HOME program requirements, including the 15 percent Community Housing Development Organization set aside, the 24-month commitment deadline, and the match requirement for participating jurisdictions.
Investments in Rural Rental Housing
The legislation provides $2 billion of investments in Rural Rental Housing to preserve housing under the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing and Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing programs and make health, safety, energy, and climate-resilient improvements. A portion of the funding will also go towards continued assistance pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act and the administration and implementation of the program.
Housing Investment Fund
The Housing Investment Fund increased from the text released last week, going from $250 million to $750 million. Of these funds, $740 million will be made available for the program, and $10 million will be set aside for program administration.
The bill states this fund will be established within the Community Development Financial Institution Fund and provide grants to invest in the development, preservation, rehabilitation, financing, or purchase of affordable housing for renters and homeowners within 120 percent of the area median income. These funds can also be used for economic development and community projects related to housing.
Other noteworthy investments in this section include:
- $2 billion for Improving Energy Efficiency or Water Efficiency or Climate Resilience of Affordable Housing
- $1.6 billion for Revitalization of Distressed Multifamily Properties
- $1 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance
- $1 billion for Native American Communities
- $500 million for Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities
- $500 million for Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program
21st Century Sustainable and Equitable Communities
Community Development Block Grant Funding for Affordable Housing and Infrastructure
The bill provides $3 billion for the CDBG program and specifies that $700 million will go towards housing and infrastructure need in colonias and $500 million for manufactured housing communities. Funding for program administration and technical assistance was also provided.
Community Restoration and Revitalization Fund
Build Back Better invests $3 billion in the Community Restoration and Revitalization Fund to provide competitive grants to local projects led by nonprofits aimed at affordable housing activities in rural, suburban, and urban areas. The bill specifics that $500 million of the total will be awarded to maintain community land trusts and shared equity homeownership. Funding for program administration and technical assistance was also provided.
Other noteworthy investments in this section include:
- $5 billion for Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control and Housing Related Health and Safety Hazard Mitigation
- $1.8 billion for the Unlocking Possibilities Program
- $700 million for Fair Housing Activities and Investigations
The legislation also prioritizes investment in homeownership to ensure families throughout this country that have struggled to attain and hold onto a home now have more support.
Funding in this section includes:
- $10 billion for First-Generation Downpayment Assistance
- $5 billion for the Home Loan Program
- $100 million for Investments in Rural Homeownership
HUD Administration, Capacity Building, Technical Assistance and Agency Oversight
$1 billion in funding was provided in this section of the bill to HUD for oversight, technical assistance, and administration of the investments in the legislation. This section also includes funding for the office of Inspector General at HUD, USDA, and Treasury.
According to reports, the House will vote on both Build Back Better and the bipartisan infrastructure package shortly, sending the bipartisan deal to the President’s desk for signature and Build Back Better to the Senate for consideration.
There is still more work to be done to ensure these programs remain in the package considered by the Senate. Enterprise urges our partners to reach out to their Members of Congress and ask they include the highest level of funding possible for affordable housing and community development investments, including the Housing Credit and Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit provisions, in the final Build Back Better Act.