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NAR Says Infrastructure Bill Has Good Things for Housing

While polarized politics makes passage of a proposed infrastructure bill questionable, NAR thanked the administration for including items that will boost housing.

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, President Joe Biden proposed a massive plan to revamp the nation’s infrastructure, which the White House called a “once-in-a-century capital investment.” The proposal aims to rebuild the country’s roads, bridges and rail service; provide greater support for clean energy and universal broadband.

The proposal also includes plans to “build and rehabilitate more than 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income homebuyers,” which would serve as a “pathway for more families to buy homes and start building wealth.”

“The National Association of Realtors® thanks President Biden and his administration for recognizing that housing represents a critical piece of our nation’s overall infrastructure,” NAR President Charlie Oppler said in a statement. “While a lack of inventory and rising prices continue to limit opportunities for homeownership – especially for younger Americans and minority populations – policies that support nationwide housing affordability are now more important than ever.”

Biden’s proposal also includes an investment in broadband, especially for currently under-served rural areas – a goal NAR has long supported to stimulate broadband in underserved areas, increase data speeds and lower broadband prices.

“Broadband access is no longer a luxury, it is a critical utility,” Oppler said in the statement. “That was true before the pandemic, and even more so now.”

NAR says it will continue to advocate for key proposal measures it supports. For example, the infrastructure proposal also attempts to take aim at the State and Local Tax (SALT ) deduction limit – a cap of $10,000 on state and local tax deductions that was implemented from a 2017 tax overhaul.

“We look forward to working with Congress and the administration to ensure these proposals are funded responsibly while continuing to promote additional housing inventory,” Oppler said. “In addition, we are encouraged by reports of rising support to end the SALT marriage penalty through this bill, and we urge the administration to work with lawmakers to find a solution.”

Housing proposals within the infrastructure plan

  • Produce, preserve and retrofit more than a million affordable, resilient, accessible, energy efficient and electrified housing units. To do so, the plan calls for targeted tax credits, formula funding, grants and project-based rental assistance. The plan includes affordable housing rental opportunities to underserved communities nationwide, including rural and tribal areas.
  • Build and rehabilitate more than 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income homebuyers. Biden called on Congress to pass the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA), that offers $20 billion worth of NHIA tax credits over the next five years. He says it will result in approximately 500,000 homes built or rehabilitated.
  • Eliminate exclusionary zoning and harmful land use policies. Exclusionary zoning laws, the administration says – like minimum lot sizes, mandatory parking requirements and prohibitions on multifamily housing – have inflated housing and construction costs and locked families out of areas with more opportunities.
  • Address longstanding public housing capital needs. Biden called on Congress to invest $40 billion to improve America’s public housing system infrastructure.

Source: Realtor® Magazine

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