Opinion: Biden's Housing Plan is 'Both Necessary and Excellent'

The housing programs proposed in the reconciliation bill could help millions of Americans who desperately need housing assistance and begin to mitigate the damage of a stagnant housing supply.

October 20, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Housing Construction

Christian Delbert / Shutterstock

Unlike other programs that "are barely worth passing at all," Ryan Cooper argues that the housing plan in the current reconciliation bill is "both necessary and excellent."

According to Cooper, the $327 billion plan "would be the biggest improvement in American housing policy in decades" and "would assist millions of people who desperately need it." If passed, it would expand Section 8 vouchers "by more than 50 percent over five years," provide "$80 billion in new capital grants for public housing and a temporary repeal of the Faircloth Amendment, which restricts the number of public housing units that can be built," and fund other programs that would incentivize upzoning and help people struggling to find housing.  

The Biden plan would also "create millions of new rental units and homes for purchase so that assistance doesn't simply drive up prices on a fixed housing supply." Because "from about 2008 to 2014, housing investment was below the previous postwar record," Cooper writes, "[w]e need half a decade at least of exceptionally busy construction simply to make up for lost ground."

While the government often can't affect the supply side of housing, "today, housing supply could be drastically expanded — and this bill would help that happen."

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