President Biden hopes to increase the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget by 15%, with funds aimed at boosting affordable housing. If approved, HUD’s funding will be $68.7 billion. It’s a reversal from his predecessor’s attempts to lower HUD’s budget, says Realtor.com. Realtor.com’s senior economist and the HUD secretary see this as a step forward, but some housing experts remain skeptical. One economist questions how this step would differ from past efforts, which had little success. Additionally, the economist notes a small number of Americans would benefit from the budget increases.
For years, the nation has suffered from a severe shortage of affordably priced housing, a problem that has worsened drastically during the pandemic. The president plans to address the issue by spending $1.9 billion, a $500 million increase, on constructing and rehabilitating more reasonably priced rental homes. This includes $180 million to put up 2,000 new units for affordable housing for the elderly and disabled.
"That's great," says Gaines. "But when you get down the number of homes that are going to get the benefit of this and then spread it geographically across the United States, the impact is going to be on a relatively small number of housing units."
More low-income renters and the homeless would receive assistance
The president hopes to offer housing vouchers to help an additional 200,000 low-income families pay rent. Priority would go to the homeless and victims of domestic violence.