President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law on November 15. Although the legislation did not have investments for affordable housing, the bill included a few promising provisions to support the energy efficiency work of Habitat affiliates to retrofit the homes of low-income families, and their own office buildings:
- Nonprofit Energy Efficiency | authorizes $50 million for a pilot program to award grants for energy-efficiency materials upgrades to nonprofit buildings
- Weatherization Assistance Program | $3.5 billion
- Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program | $500 million
Then, on November 19, the Build Back Better Act was passed by Congress which includes more than $150 billion for affordable housing, and tens of billions of dollars that can be leveraged for affordable homeownership.
The bill currently includes, among other funding, these Habitat priority programs:
- new Community Restoration and Revitalization Fund | $3 billion
- new Housing Investment Fund | $750 million
- First-Generation Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance | $10 billion
- HOME program | $9.925 billion
- USDA Section 504 rural repair grants | $90 million
- Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit (formerly the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act)
While receiving this historic level of housing investment would be a major step toward making the cost of home more affordable, we expect the Senate to make changes to the bill. We must ensure housing, particularly affordable homeownership, remains top of mind for our federal policymakers until the bill is signed into law.
As the bill moves to the Senate, we need you to email your Senators urging them that the final legislation includes our legislative priorities. It only takes a moment. We are grateful for your support!