March 20, 2024

New Democrat Coalition Affordable Housing Task Force Unveils Comprehensive Action Plan to Build More Homes and Lower Costs

“By working together, we can tackle this crisis and make all communities places where everyone has access to safe, decent, affordable housing and the amenities needed to thrive.”

Today, the New Democrat Coalition Affordable Housing Task Force, led by Chair Norma J. Torres (CA-35) and Vice Chairs Greg Landsman (OH-01), Wiley Nickel (NC-13), and Emilia Sykes (OH-13) unveiled their comprehensive Housing Action Plan, which outlines past actions by New Dems and President Biden on affordable housing and charts a path for further action by Congress and the Administration.

The Housing Action Plan includes more than 20 policy recommendations that would make improvements to five key factors in affordable housing: the housing supply, permitting and zoning laws, federal financial incentives, the construction workforce, and data collection and transparency.

Affordable Housing Task Force Chair Torres and Vice Chairs Landsman, Nickel, and Sykes issued the following statement on the Action Plan:

“The number one issue we hear from our constituents is that the cost of housing is too high. Every American deserves to sleep well at night knowing they have a safe, secure, and affordable place to live. Unfortunately, because of a growing shortage of homes, historically high interest rates, and outdated zoning laws, there aren’t enough affordable housing options for millions of Americans – particularly lower-income families.

“That’s why New Dems spent months developing our Housing Action Plan, working with experts and key stakeholders to craft common sense solutions to the many facets of this crisis. With the Action Plan as our guide, the Coalition is well-positioned to lead decisive bipartisan action to deliver for the American people.”

You can read the full Housing Action Plan here, a one-pager here, and the introductory Letter from the Task Force below:

Dear Reader,

Alongside the Biden Administration, the New Democrat Coalition (New Dems) has helped to deliver one of the strongest American economies in history. Collectively, our country took decisive action so American families, workers, and businesses could safely return to everyday life in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, we made critical investments that have produced strong economic growth, historically low unemployment, and large wage increases, particularly for low and middle-income workers.

While the economy is growing, certain sectors like the housing market face structural challenges that we in Congress are committed to overcoming. The obstacle of finding fair and affordable housing has become increasingly daunting, and in every Congressional District, hard-working Americans are struggling to purchase a home or find a place to rent. Shelter is a basic human right, and no one should have to choose between putting a roof over their head and meeting other essential needs.

In light of these challenges, the New Democrat Coalition stood up its Affordable Housing Task Force, a group of Members committed to working to identify solutions to make housing fairer and more accessible for all Americans. After consulting with stakeholders like homelessness prevention practitioners, fair housing and civil rights advocates, low-income housing advocates, housing developers, housing financiers, and federal officials who work on housing issues, we are proud to release the New Democrat Coalition’s Housing Action Plan.

In this document, you will find our recommendations for how the federal government can address the lack of fair and affordable housing and deliver relief to Americans looking to stay in safe, stable, and secure housing. Overall, we know we must prioritize the development of affordable housing initiatives, enforcement of fair housing laws, increase resources for public housing and local fair housing enforcement agencies, make it easier to build more housing units, and make changes to federal supports for the housing finance ecosystem to make sure communities are equitably served.

By working together, we can tackle this crisis and make all communities places where everyone has access to safe, decent, affordable housing and the amenities needed to thrive. Together, we can create a brighter future and restore hope for everyone pursuing the American Dream. New Dems remain committed to working with the Biden Administration and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground on policies that will lower housing costs, increase housing accessibility, strengthen fair housing enforcement, and ensure a strong economy empowers all Americans to succeed.