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The US has a plan for affordable housing

Words by Smiley Team

Affordable housing in the US is becoming more sparse. As US inflation sits at its highest rate (8%) in 40 years, people are struggling to afford simple things like gas and food, much less purchasing a home. President Biden is enacting a new plan to alleviate some of that pressure. 

US home prices are up over 20% in a year-over-year model, so the administration is establishing a grant program aimed at providing funds for potential homebuyers. It has already set aside a planned $1.75 billion for the program.

“Today’s rising housing costs are years in the making,” the White House writes. “Fewer new homes were built in the decade following the Great Recession than in any decade since the 1960s – constraining housing supply and failing to keep pace with demand and household formation.  This mismatch between housing supply and housing demand grew during the pandemic.”

“Rising housing costs have burdened families of all incomes, with a particular impact on low- and moderate-income families, and people and communities of color.”

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Beyond the grant, a large part of the program is to increase the supply of quality houses on the market through things like refurbishing programs. This is building off a September proposal that would build and rehabilitate over 100,000 homes in the US. 

“One of the most significant issues constraining housing supply and production is the lack of available and affordable land, which is in large part driven by state and local zoning and land use laws and regulations that limit housing density,” the White House writes.

“Exclusionary land use and zoning policies constrain land use, artificially inflate prices, perpetuate historical patterns of segregation, keep workers in lower productivity regions, and limit economic growth.”

For nearly eight million households with extremely low incomes, housing consumes at least half of their limited monthly budget, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Affordable homes that may have been out of reach for these households even before the pandemic are even more scarce now. These programs will hopefully shrink that gap.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Consider donating to Stand Up for Me, as they help provide housing to disabled individuals. 

SUPPORT: Consider donating goods or time or even money to local shelters. They support people who might be down on their luck and just need a place to live or lie their heads.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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