More than 560 Habitat for Humanity organizations from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia sign letter to congressional leadership
ATLANTA (March 26, 2021) — Asserting that housing is a vital part of the nation’s infrastructure, Habitat for Humanity International and more than 560 local Habitat organizations are calling on congressional leaders to commit to major investments in housing production, neighborhood revitalization and housing equity as they consider infrastructure spending.
“The pandemic has exacerbated a pre-existing housing affordability crisis being fueled by a shortage of habitable, affordable homes, including a record-low supply of entry-level homes for sale,” Habitat wrote in the letter, which was signed by local Habitat organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. “At the same time, many long-disinvested communities are being weighed down by deteriorating housing stock and abandoned properties that hold back economic recovery. These include formerly redlined communities of color, towns devastated by loss of industry, pockets of distress in otherwise prosperous areas, and rural communities with high rates of poverty and older housing stock.”
In the letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Habitat called for the following measures to be included in an infrastructure package:
- The Neighborhood Home Investment Act, which would provide federal tax credits to fund build and rehabilitate homes for low- and moderate-income homeowners.
- The Restoring Communities Left Behind Act, which would create a grant program for communities to invest in low-income housing and revitalization.
- Funding for existing affordable housing programs, including the HOME Investment Partnership Program, the USDA 502 loan program and the Section 4 program.
“Many Habitat affiliates nationwide are working hard in struggling communities to build and rehabilitate homes, and are witnessing firsthand the need for increased resources,” Habitat wrote. “Federal investments can begin to unlock economic recovery and help ignite a virtuous cycle of rising home values that removes disincentives to broader neighborhood reinvestment while creating thousands of jobs, remediating urgent health hazards, and narrowing our nation’s racial wealth gap. Habitat urges Congress to prioritize these housing investments to ensure no one and no community is left behind as we rebuild from the pandemic.”
Through its Cost of Home campaign, Habitat is working across the nation to advocate for policy solutions that will help 10 million people have access to affordable homes.