The president’s budget is mainly a request to Congress, but a 34% increase for HUD suggests an emphasis on the need for more affordable housing.

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden requested historic funding for housing supply in his federal budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2022. The White House released the proposal on Monday.

A requested 34% increase over last year for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) includes $50 billion in grants and loans to increase the supply of affordable housing. It includes $32 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and nearly $2 billion in funding for the HOME Investment Partnership to create more affordable homeownership opportunities.

“This unprecedented investment demonstrates how seriously the White House views the supply crisis,” says Shannon McGahn, the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) chief advocacy officer. “We worked with the administration and Congress over the past year on comprehensive policy proposals, and now a consensus is growing across Washington that decisive action is needed.”

In 2021, NAR commissioned a report on housing supply, which confirmed a shortage of nearly 6 million residential housing units nationwide. “NAR’s report became the center of conversation on housing supply, and our policy recommendations are showing up in proposed legislation in Washington and around the country,” McGahn says.

To close the supply gap, NAR says it supports new funding for affordable housing construction, preserving and expanding tax incentives to renovate distressed properties, converting unused commercial space to residential, and encouraging and incentivizing zoning reform.

Biden’s proposal now moves to Congress.

“A president’s budget is a wish list of policy goals and ambitions,” McGahn says. “Many changes will be made to this plan, but it is good news that the White House sees this issue for what it is – a crisis – and many in Congress on both sides of the aisle agree. The next step is that Congress will hold hearings on this budget proposal.”

McGahn says NAR “will continue to work with lawmakers and encourage an all-hands approach to the supply shortage so that the American dream is achievable for all Americans.”

According to NAR’s policy team, they’re still analyzing Biden’s full $5.8 trillion budget request and will have a comprehensive report soon.

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