Press Conference Held on Housing Investments in the Build Back Better Act
To further promote the proposed housing investments outlined in the Build Back Better Act, housing committee leaders from Congress gathered in front of the Capitol this week. House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke about the critical importance of investing in our nation’s housing stock.
Several housing industry representatives also spoke at the event, including:
- David Dworkin: President and CEO, National Housing Conference
- Bob Goldberg: CEO, National Association of REALTORS
- Nikitra Bailey: SVP of Public Policy, National Fair Housing Alliance
- Sara Rodriguez: President, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals
- Chuck Fowke: Chairman of the Board, National Association of Homebuilders
- Chris Vincent: VP of Government Relations and Advocacy, Habitat for Humanity International
- Sarah Saadian: Vice President of Public Policy, National Low Income Housing Coalition
The representatives talked about the need to invest in the full spectrum of housing programs from homeless assistance to affordable homeownership. Nikitra Bailey, of the Fair Housing Alliance, tied housing to racial equity, stating, “It is impossible to achieve racial justice without housing justice.” Sarah Saadian, of the National Low Income Housing Coalition said there is a severe shortage of an estimated 7 million homes in the country which drives up the price of housing. Chuck Fowke, of the National Association of Homebuilders, and Chris Vincent, of Habitat for Humanity International, both described housing as an essential need that serves as the foundation to life for many families.
Investments such as those proposed in the Build Back Better Act could have a significant impact on homelessness, affordable housing, and equitable homeownership. Congressional leadership and the Biden Administration are still negotiating a topline pricetag for the Build Back Better Act. The $327 billion that the House Financial Services Committee originally outlined for housing and community development programs is at risk of cuts. In response to the ongoing negotiations, Chairwoman Waters said:
“We are on pins and needles as we await some of the decisions that are being made at the White House… I certainly hope that there is no attempt at which to do deep cuts in housing. Our people in this country need their government to come to their assistance to deal with the serious housing crisis in this country.”
A recording of the full press conference is available online.