Dear Senator Schumer,
We are writing you as a broad group of housing advocacy, financial services, and housing provider organizations in support of homeownership and the need for the highest possible amount of homeownership funding in the Build Back Better Budget Reconciliation Bill.
We recognize that homeownership is a critical piece for growing and maintaining a sustainable middle class and for building family wealth. But Black homeownership remains 29.6 percentage points below white homeownership rates and has dropped to levels from before the passage of the Fair Housing Act. Hispanic homeownership rates are 26.7 percentage points below white rates.
The housing market needs substantial investment to increase affordable housing supply and to improve access to homeownership for underserved markets. The Build Back Better Act has important tools for reversing the decline in affordability and availability of homeownership, including:
- First-generation down-payment assistance
- Investment in HOME and the Housing Investment Fund
- The Neighborhood Home Investment Act
- Support for Fair Housing enforcement
- Support for housing counseling
We also want to state that we are strongly in favor of investing in the rental and homeless portions of the Budget Reconciliation Bill and do not favor sacrificing one part of the marketplace for another. All these areas are suffering from underinvestment in public funds and need to be supported.
Our intention is to emphasize the importance of homeownership for the economy, for the financial security of millions of American households, for sustainable job creation, and for addressing the racial and ethnic wealth gap. We ask that you support full funding for homeownership in the Budget Reconciliation Bill.