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NAR Commends U.S. Treasury For New Action On Housing Affordability

Sarah Wolak
Jul 29, 2022
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has issued its first in a series of reports to President Donald J. Trump examining the nation’s financial regulatory system and detailing executive actions and regulatory changes

The Biden Administration announced a plan with billions of dollars for new steps to tackle the housing supply crisis.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The plan allows for the use of $350 billion in American Rescue Plan funds by state, local, and tribal governments toward affordable housing units. 
  • he Treasury is implementing additional programs to ease housing costs, including the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and the Homeowner Assistance Fund.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) this week applauded the Biden Administration's large step toward tackling the affordable housing crisis. The plan, announced Wednesday, allows for the use of $350 billion in American Rescue Plan funds by state, local, and tribal governments toward developing, repairing, and operating affordable housing units. 

“The top issue around the country among our 1.5 million members is housing supply," said NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith. "NAR commends the White House for addressing this challenge head-on and working across agencies on a comprehensive plan to provide the necessary flexibility for state and local governments."

"Any effort to add supply will help alleviate a historic shortage in affordable housing." Smith continued. "NAR commissioned a landmark research report last year showing a lack of 5.5 million homes in the U.S. — a gap so large it would take more than a decade to dig out of, even with accelerated new construction. It is nothing short of an affordability crisis hurting first-time, first-generation, and middle-income Americans the most."

She added, “We look forward to a continued partnership with the administration, Congress, and business and nonprofit groups on an all-of-the-above approach to this historic challenge.”

The plan provides billions of dollars and follows the Administration's May Housing Supply Action Plan, which promised help to renters struggling with high rental costs. The plan also framed a particular focus on building and preserving rental housing for low- and moderate-income families.

As part of its Americans Rescue Plan, the Treasury is also implementing additional programs to ease housing costs, including the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which provides support to prevent evictions, and the Homeowner Assistance Fund, which supplies $10 billion in support of homeowners to prevent foreclosures.

The administration said the plan is intended to “ease the burden of housing costs over time by boosting the supply of quality housing in every community.” It includes legislative and administrative actions that the administration believes “will help close America’s housing supply shortfall in five years, starting with the creation and preservation of hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units in the next three years.” 

NAR previously offered a statement in support of the Housing Supply Action Plan in May. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also applauded the plan’s strategic focus on financing home projects and handling the growing housing affordability crisis.

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