Democrats are shrinking Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan, and housing aid is at risk of being removed.
The White House hoped to fight the housing crisis with its $3.5 trillion social-spending packages, but opposition from Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have forced Democrats to shrink the plan.
The final proposal is expected to cost roughly $2 trillion, meaning it’ll have to be slimmed down substantially from its current size. The Biden administration and congressional leaders are considering cuts to the housing funds.
The emerging fight over how to trim housing aid is likely just one of several brewing conflicts between Democrats as they consider ways to appease moderates insisting on a smaller spending plan.
It will force lawmakers and the administration to make tough choices about the party’s economic agenda and approach to racial equity, which has been a key focus of proposals to expand affordable housing.
The stakes are high because the legislation marks Democrats’ best shot at advancing their biggest social and climate policy priorities for the foreseeable future.
In a letter to President Joe Biden, Rep. Maxine Waters and other lawmakers wrote, “As we continue to work together to pass a broad-ranging and comprehensive infrastructure plan, we cannot ignore the immediate housing infrastructure needs facing individuals, families, and communities throughout the United States.”
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They added; “Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, this country was in the midst of an affordable housing crisis.
It is a crisis of tragic proportions that has resulted in over 580,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night, including more than 106,000 children, more than 20 million renter households paying unaffordable rents, and millions of mortgage-ready individuals being locked out of homeownership opportunities, including at least 20 million millennials.
Households across the income spectrum and in every community—including urban, suburban, and rural—have been impacted by the affordable housing crisis.”
Committee Democrats recently passed the Financial Services Committee Title of the Build Back Better Act to provide long-overdue investments in housing resources, such as affordable housing, downpayment assistance, and efforts to end homelessness.
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