White House tackles housing shortage with 100,000 affordable housing plan
By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration is taking immediate action to address a severe housing shortage in the United States by creating and selling 100,000 affordable homes over the next three years using existing funds and authorities, a said a White House official.
The measures, to be announced on Wednesday, will focus on increasing home sales to individuals and nonprofits, while limiting sales to large investors, who recouped one in six homes sold in the second quarter, a declared the responsible.
Demand for housing skyrocketed at the start of the pandemic as Americans sought more spacious housing for home offices and home schooling, but a shortage of housing for sale and chain bottlenecks supply have pushed up housing prices sharply.
Rental prices, which typically follow the lead of housing prices, are also of great concern, given that even before the pandemic, 11 million families – nearly a quarter of all renters – were already spending more than half of their income in rent, according to the civil servants administration.
The United States has an estimated shortage of as many as 4 million affordable housing units, according to White House officials.
US President Joe Biden proposed spending more than $ 300 billion to add an additional 2 million affordable housing units as part of a $ 3.5 trillion investment program being considered by Congress, but wanted to go from there ‘forward with immediate action that could be taken now, the White House official said. .
The plans will cover rural and urban housing projects, with a focus on helping communities of color, where homeownership rates have historically lagged.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge will announce the measures after visiting a new five-story affordable housing complex in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Specific actions are planned by the Department of Fudge, the US Treasury and agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which will increase funding opportunities to enable more Americans to buy homes, the White House said.
A key step is the relaunch of a joint Treasury-HUD “risk-sharing program” which ended in 2019 and which will enable public housing finance bodies to provide more low-cost capital for affordable housing development. .
The plans will also increase the supply of prefabricated housing and 2-4 unit properties by increasing funding through Freddie Mac, while taking action to limit the sale of some properties insured by the State Federal Housing Administration. -United with the big investors.
Investor purchases, which have reached up to one in four homes in some communities, have sparked fierce competition for starting homes.
The administration also plans to work with state and local governments to leverage existing federal funds and help reduce exclusionary zoning and other practices that have discouraged efforts to increase housing supply, a declared the responsible.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Leslie Adler and Richard Pullin)