PHADA, working with other industry groups, drafted a letter to Democratic leadership urging that they keep the housing provisions in the Build Back Better Act or any reconciliation vehicle that comes out of Senate negotiations. As you likely know, the House passed the Build Back Better Act with over $150 billion in housing investments, including $65 billion in capital funding, $24 billion for the Section 8 voucher program, $15 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund, a significant expansion of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and funding for many other housing programs. The bill has been held up in the Senate, with housing provisions at risk. See PHADA’s previous report here.
The Build Back Better Act as it stands is moving through the reconciliation process, which requires only the support of all 50 Democratic senators with the Vice President breaking the tie. Any provisions left out of Build Back Better, even if repurposed into new legislation, would require support from all 50 Senate Democrats along with 10 Senate Republicans. This likely means that even if a separate bill related to the housing provisions was introduced, it would not be enacted.
These housing investments are extremely important to communities and would serve the housing needs of seniors, persons with disabilities, families with children and veterans. The industry letter highlights the critical need to provide funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund, which has been underfunded by Congress for over two decades. The letter notes the related loss of 10,000–12,000 public housing units annually and the positive effect that an infusion of capital funds would have on preserving and providing additional decent, safe, and healthier homes to lower income households.
PHADA will continue to work to ensure that these vital housing investments remain in the Build Back Better Act.