Letters to Congress: Letter in Support of Robust Funding for Housing Provisions in the Build Back Better Act

View or download a PDF of the letter here.

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority  Leader McConnell, Chair Waters, and Chair Brown:  

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to strongly encourage you to include  robust funding for housing provisions in the Build Back Better Act. More than ever, we  need your leadership to enact bold policies to ensure that people with the lowest  incomes and the most marginalized people have access to stable, affordable housing  to ensure economic stability for all families.  

The United States has been facing an affordable housing crisis even prior to the COVID 19 pandemic. Almost half of renters and over one quarter of homeowners are housing cost-burdened, meaning they spend 30% or more of their household income on  housing expenses. Black and Latinx households, who have long faced inequitable  access to housing opportunities due to discriminatory policies, are even likelier than  their White counterparts to be cost-burdened. 

The pandemic has only revealed and further exacerbated these inequities. Millions of  households, particularly households of color and those with low incomes, are behind  on their housing payments and are at risk of eviction or foreclosure. The lowest income renters have been the most severely impacted by the pandemic, with 29% of  Black renters and 21% of Latinx renters having fallen behind on rent payments, compared to only 11% of White renters. Meanwhile, soaring home prices have made  homeownership unattainable for many vulnerable households. 

Given the long-standing housing crisis and the aftermath of the pandemic, there is a  critical need for federal investment in affordable housing. We encourage you to include the following provisions at robust funding levels in the budget reconciliation  package: 

  • Provide downpayment assistance and housing counseling to first-generation homebuyers, who are disproportionately people of color, to ensure wealth creation for future generations 
  • Increase the affordable housing supply through programs like HOME Investment Partnership Program and the Housing Trust Fund
  • Provide rental assistance for low-income households
  • Direct flexible resources to community development financial institutions (CDFIs), which can finance affordable housing solutions and revitalize communities. 

Access to affordable housing is essential. Even beyond fulfilling the basic need for  shelter, housing impacts families’ financial security and can be a key tool for wealth  creation. Particularly for households of color, who have historically been excluded from housing opportunities, homeownership can contribute to generational wealth building. 

This key investment in housing is not only critical to remedying the nation’s housing  crisis, it has the opportunity to make positive impacts on racial equity, economic  mobility, reducing poverty, and public health. It can address the housing shortage, support the millions of households who are behind on rent payments and put families  on the path to homeownership. Moreover, this investment can help create jobs and generate revenue for state and local governments, thereby supporting the economy  as we emerge from the pandemic. 

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to strongly encourage you to include  robust funding for housing provisions in the Build Back Better Act. 

Thank you for your consideration.