Biden affordability efforts make no waves in housing industry

Biden affordability efforts make no waves in housing industry

Last week, the Biden administration unveiled a multi-pronged proposal for federal agencies to address the lack of housing inventory, ahead of action from Congress.

While the announcements didn’t include any major new programs, federal agencies will restart programs that previously lapsed, such as the U.S. Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s risk-based sharing program, and increase funding to existing programs. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a significant increase — from $1 billion to $1.7 billion — in government sponsored enterprise investments in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit projects.

The mortgage industry and housing advocates were generally supportive of the modest measures. Many items the housing industry and affordable housing advocates are hoping for are still up in the air as Congress negotiates the infrastructure packages.

Bob Broeksmit, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said the trade association “strongly supports” efforts to increase supply by spurring construction and rehabilitation of homes for renters and first-time buyers.

But Broeksmit pointed out that bigger changes depend on Congress. Measures under consideration include a downpayment assistance program and a number of measures focused on rental housing.

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