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Housing Economists Weigh in on Biden’s Housing Plan

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Government + Policy

Housing Economists Weigh in on Biden’s Housing Plan


April 2, 2021
Capitol building
Photo: jzajic

President Biden’s recently unveiled $2 trillion infrastructure plan will set aside $213 billion for affordable housing. Realtor.com chief economist says it’s an ambitious plan, noting that this is both good and bad. Good due to the shortage of lower-priced rentals and affordable homes, but bad because economists predict it will be difficult to pass. CoreLogic’s chief economist of real estate data said anything in support of affordable housing is helpful in relieving stress from the “severe housing squeeze.” The plan proposes building and rehabilitating more than 500,000 homes for lower- and middle-class buyers and offers $20 billion in tax credits.

This is designed to help revitalize underserved communities and assist more Americans in becoming homeowners.

"Any amount would be helpful to incent additional construction for affordable housing," says Nothaft. "Twenty billion dollars worth of tax credits is a good amount. That will help."

The plan also calls to do away with zoning and land use policies that make it more difficult and expensive for new homes to be built. The president would like to create a competitive grant program that provides money to localities that get rid of barriers to new construction, such as minimum lot sizes, parking requirements, and not permitting apartments, condos, and townhouses from going up in certain areas.

These zoning requirements are often used in wealthier communities to preserve the uniform look of a neighborhood and keep property values high.

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