Rep. Maxine Waters, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, has called on President Joseph R. Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer to include the Committee-passed housing provisions in the Build Back Better Act. The letter was signed by every Democratic Member of the House Financial Services Committee.
“As we continue to work together to pass a broad-ranging and comprehensive infrastructure plan, we cannot ignore the immediate housing infrastructure needs facing individuals, families, and communities throughout the United States,” said the letter. “This is especially true for low-income people and families of color who disproportionately lack equitable access to housing opportunities due to an ongoing history of discriminatory policies and federal underinvestment in their communities’ needs.”
The Build Back Better Act (HR 5376) earmarks $3.5 trillion to provide funding, establish programs, and otherwise modifies provisions relating to a broad array of areas, including housing, rental, and homeowner assistance programs, in addition to education, labor, child care, health care, taxes, immigration, and the environment.
“Just as we need to invest in our nation’s roads and bridges, it is also absolutely essential that we invest in our nation’s affordable housing,” said the letter. “As members of the House Financial Services Committee, we can affirm that a comprehensive approach to infrastructure includes a robust investment in our nation’s affordable housing stock and that a comprehensive approach to our social safety net includes investment in affordable housing. Housing is health care, it is stability for children, it is climate justice, and it is racial justice. This is an investment that simply cannot wait and must be included at robust levels in the budget reconciliation package. This is what families across the country—from California and Arizona, to Iowa and West Virginia—voted Democrats into office to address. This is our opportunity to meet our constituents where they are in this moment.”
On September 13, 2021, Committee Democrats passed the Financial Services Committee Title of the Build Back Better Act to provide long-overdue investments in housing resources, such as affordable housing, down payment assistance, and efforts to end homelessness.
“Housing is a human right and critical infrastructure, and it’s time we invested in it as such,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley. “The Build Back Better Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand affordable housing access, tackle the racial wealth and homeownership gaps, and promote safe and healthy housing, and we must capitalize on it. Communities in the Massachusetts 7th and nationwide demand, deserve, and require nothing less.”