2021 Infrastructure Priorities
The importance of safe, decent and affordable housing has never been clearer or more urgent than during the pandemic, when we have learned that where someone lives is not just a matter of individual health but also of public health. Housing is infrastructure because it is a critical part of our built environment and necessary to ensure a safe, functioning community.
HPN recommends the following items be included in an infrastructure bill to address the growing need to repair and preserve existing affordable housing, build new housing and ensure a robust economic recovery.
Build and Repair Housing: Congress should address the need for affordable housing, create jobs, and ensure safe, decent housing is available to everyone by investing in the following tools that are responsive to local needs and market conditions to build and repair affordable housing.
- Increase resources and flexibility for two proven Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs that allow local communities to meet local housing needs: HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).
- Pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S.1136/ H.R. 2573), which would support the development of more than 2 million homes.
- Enact the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (S.98/ H.R. 2143), a new tax credit to drive investment in single-family development in distressed communities;
Invest in Communities: For affordable housing to be a bridge to opportunity, it is critical to have it be a part of a vibrant, thriving community infrastructure, which Congress can help create through the following investments.
- Expansion of the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) program funding to $1 billion annually to ensure capital is going to certified community-based organizations.
- Increased resources and flexibility for the Capital Magnet Fund, a public-private partnership that uses federal funds to attract private investment into communities for affordable housing and economic development.