Sweeping Housing Bill Introduced

Legislation | October 09, 2018 | by Linda Couch

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced a sweeping housing bill on September 26, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act.

The bill, S. 3503, would expand resources for affordable housing, incentivize local governments to reduce barriers to affordable housing, widen protected classes under the Fair Housing Act and extend the Community Reinvestment Act’s jurisdiction to cover more financial institutions. The bill would also provide down payment grants to first-time homebuyers living in formerly redlined or officially segregated areas and invest $2 billion to support borrowers with negative equity on their mortgages, predominantly in suburban and rural communities.

Senator Warren says her bill will produce 3.2 million new homes by increasing funding a variety of existing programs over 10 years by:

  • Investing $445 billion in the Housing Trust Fund to build, rehabilitate, and operate up to 2.1 million homes for low income families, including in rural areas and in Indian country
  • Investing $25 billion in the Capital Magnet Fund, which will be leveraged 10:1 with private capital, to build more than 835,000 new homes and develop “vibrant communities” for lower income and middle class families.
  • Investing $4 billion in a new Middle-Class Housing Emergency Fund, which supports construction of homes for middle-class buyers and renters where there’s a supply shortage and housing costs are rising faster than incomes.
  • Investing $523 million in rural housing programs to create 380,000 rentals and help 17,000 families buy homes.
  • Investing $2 billion in the Indian Housing Block Grant to build or rehabilitate 200,000 homes on tribal land.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.