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NLIHC Statement: Affordable Housing Investments for People Most in Need Must be Saved in the “Build Back Better Act”

Washington, DC – President Biden and congressional leaders are working to reach an agreement with moderate Democrats to drastically cut the “Build Back Better Act” from $3.5 trillion to as little as $1.5 trillion, putting the bill’s $327 billion in affordable housing investments at significant risk of deep, harmful cuts.

The White House and congressional leaders must protect the essential and targeted housing investments for those most in need currently included in the Build Back Better Act:

  • $90 billion to expand rental assistance to 1 million of the lowest-income households;
  • $80 billion to repair and preserve public housing for over 2.5 million low-income renters; and
  • $37 billion for the national Housing Trust to build and preserve 330,000 rental homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes.

Together, these resources could end homelessness in America, and they must not be cut!

“It would be deeply shortsighted for the White House and Congress to cut targeted housing investments from a bill meant to prioritize ‘human infrastructure,’” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Stable, affordable housing is the foundation on which all other priorities in the bill rest. Better health care or increased educational access will not do much for families sleeping in their cars or under bridges, or for the millions more on the verge of homelessness.  Moreover, there are no ‘savings’ to be found by cuts to targeted housing investments; allowing homelessness to persist costs children, families, communities, and the country far more than it does to get and keep people housed.”

A growing number of members of Congress understand these truths. A group of them are circulating a Dear Colleague Letter to show their support for these essential investments to end homelessness. So far, 38 representatives have signed on (see the list of current signers here).

In addition, more than 1,600 national, state, and local organizations around the country have signed and shared with congressional leaders a letter calling on Congress to protect these critical housing investments for those most in need. 

We have worked decades for this opportunity to end homelessness – we cannot let it pass us by.

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