House Passes $1.2T Infrastructure Bill, Seen as ‘Pro-Housing’

Originally published by: MReportJuly 6, 2020

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The new $1.5 trillion Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2) doesn’t just have provisions for infrastructure, it also includes ample allotments for investing in U.S. housing. Specifically, the Moving Forward Act features a housing and land-use policy package that covers funding for housing as infrastructure.

Among the provisions detailed for investment include the expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), as well as the creation of a Neighborhood Investment Credit— the purpose for which will be to subsidize rehabilitation of vacant homes and new construction on vacant properties.

H.R. 2 funds various transportation, such as highways, bridges, and transit, and also involves funds, which will be allocated for infrastructure improvements and provisions for financing and tax credits to support community development, revitalization, and rehabilitation.

The new legislation will also move myriad pro-housing policies forward, including initiatives supported by Up for Growth. These provisions are seen by most experts as being a direct—and needed—response to the housing crises and difficulties spurred by the pandemic, with Americans nationwide struggling to make rent each month.

The creation of the Neighborhood Homes Credit could help encourage the rehabilitation of vacant homes and the construction of homes on vacant lots in, particularly economically depressed regions. This step will aid in decreasing the much-too-wide “appraisal gap” (the difference between rehabilitation costs and the home’s value) that currently exists and plagues many. Also provided by this credit is a recapture period that will prevent renters from being displaced, as well as making sure that homes that receive the credit are made available to those renters who need them the most.