Sending Office: Honorable Maxine Waters
Become an Original Cosponsor of H.R. 5187, The Housing Is Infrastructure Act
***H.R.5187 is supported by the Capital Magnet Fund Coalition, Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, Council of State Community Development Agencies, Consortium for Citizens With Disabilities Housing Task Force, Corporation for
Supportive Housing, Enterprise Community Partners, LeadingAge, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Mayors and CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, National Apartment Association, National Association of Counties,
National Association for County Community and Economic Development, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Community
Development Association, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, National Housing Conference, National Housing Law Project,
National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Housing Trust, National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Multifamily Housing Council, Public Housing Authorities Directors Association, and Up for Growth Action.***
Like roads and bridges, affordable housing is a component of the nation’s infrastructure and a long-term asset that helps communities and families by connecting them to resources and opportunities. According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition,
there is a shortage of more than 7 million rental housing units that are affordable and available to the lowest income families nationwide. In fact, no state in America has an adequate supply of affordable housing
for the lowest income renters. Further, our existing stock of affordable housing is aging and in need of repair. For example, our public housing stock, which houses 2.6 million Americans, has an estimated capital needs backlog of $70 billion. Neglecting our
housing infrastructure not only hurts families and communities that struggle with substandard housing and unaffordable housing costs, but it is a lost opportunity to create jobs and boost our economy. According to the National Association of Home Builders,
building 100 affordable rental homes generates 297 jobs, $28 million in wages and business income, and $11 million in taxes and revenue for state, local, and federal governments.
The H.R. 5187 “Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2019” would invest a total of $100.6 billion into our affordable housing infrastructure. Specifically, it includes:
- $70 billion to fully address the public housing capital backlog.
- $1 billion to fully fund the backlog of capital needs for the Section 515 and 514 rural housing stock;
- $1 billion to support mitigation efforts that can protect communities from future disasters and reduce post-disaster federal spending;
- $5 billion for the Housing Trust Fund to support the creation of hundreds of thousands of new units of housing that would be affordable to the lowest income households;
- $100 million to help low income elderly households in rural areas age in place;
- $1 billion for the Native American Housing Block Grant Program to address substandard housing conditions on tribal lands;
- $10 billion for a CDBG set-aside to incentivize states and cities to eliminate impact fees and responsibly streamline the process for development of affordable housing; and
- $5 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program to fund affordable housing activities such as building, buying, and rehabilitating affordable homes for low-income people;
- $2.5 billion for the Supporting Housing for Elderly (Section 202 Program);
- $2.5 billion for Supportive Housing for persons with disabilities (811 Program); and
- $2.5 billion to the Capital Magnet Fund for competitive grants to Community Development Financial Institutions to finance affordable housing and community revitalization efforts.
In addition, the “Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2019” requires ten percent of nearly all funding authorized in the bill to be used for sustainable features such as energy efficiency retrofits that reduce utility costs for residents. The bill also promotes
diversity and inclusion by requiring that grantees conduct outreach to minority and women owned businesses to inform them of opportunities created through funds provided. Congress must include H.R. 5187 in any infrastructure package in order to address the
affordable housing crisis that our nation faces.
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