Housing stakeholders gathered at the nation’s capitol to call for the budget reconciliation package being negotiated in Congress to substantially support housing. The group included National Association of Realtors (NAR) CEO Bob Goldberg, members of the National Housing Conference (NHC), Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Habitat for Humanity, National Association of Homebuilders, and others.
Representative Sherrod Brown (D-OH), chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, and Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, also attended.
“Housing is fundamental to an economy that works for all. Democrats and President Biden understand this,” Chairman Brown said in his speech.
“Robust housing investments support families and kids, improve health outcomes, and address climate change – while creating good-paying jobs. That is why these investments must stay in the reconciliation package.”
Members of Congress are currently negotiating a budget reconciliation package originally priced out at $3.5 trillion, but that number has been steadily dropping. President Biden recently said he’s expecting a price tag closer to $2 trillion as various proposals ranging from free community college to money for at-home eldercare get cut or pared back.
The purpose of the event was to rally for housing money not to be on the chopping block.
The U.S. is behind housing demand by 3.8 million homes, according to Freddie Mac estimates. Lack of housing stock has been a significant contributor to the high cost of homes in 2021. While the market is cooling slightly, home prices are still elevated.
“The entire housing community, from industry to advocates, agree that substantial investments in housing are imperative to sustaining a healthy economy, addressing climate change, and securing racial equity,” said NHC President and CEO David M. Dworkin.
“Congress is on the verge of passing a historic infrastructure bill of over $1 trillion for the modernization of our physical and technological infrastructure. But who is going to build and repair this infrastructure? And where are they going to live? Substantial investments in housing supply are essential to ensuring that Americans can afford to live where they work.”
The event coincided with several other advocate-led protests to raise awareness about the housing crisis, including in Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Brooklyn neighborhood, according to The New Republic.
Representative Brown posted a photo of the event on Twitter with the caption, “Say it with me: Housing I.S. infrastructure– Period.”