Huffman, Feinstein, Padilla, Thompson Introduce Bill to Increase Supply of Affordable Housing
Washington, D.C. – Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla and Representatives Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson (all D-Calif.) today introduced the Affordable Housing Redevelopment Act, a bill to reauthorize the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and authorize $1.5 billion to help create new affordable housing through the rehabilitation or redevelopment of old, vacant or foreclosed properties.
“The lack of affordable housing is an all-too familiar crisis in California. But with the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the livelihoods of millions and countless families at risk of eviction or foreclosure, affordable housing options are needed more than ever,” said Representative Huffman. “This bill not only establishes smart long-term investments, but it also focuses resources on more immediate solutions to meet the urgent needs of the current housing crisis.”
“Our region is far too familiar with the devastating impact of the lack of affordable housing, a problem that has only been exacerbated by the recent fires and by the Coronavirus pandemic. We need solutions to help families afford housing now more than ever,” said Rep. Thompson. “That’s why I am proud to be a coauthor of the Affordable Housing Redevelopment Act, which reauthorizes the important Neighborhood Stabilization Program and provides $1.5 billion to turn old and vacant properties into affordable housing specifically to help those with the greatest need. This will be vital for our district and our entire region and I thank Senator Feinstein for her leadership on this bill in the Senate.”
“The lack of affordable housing is a key driver of our homelessness crisis, both in California and across the country,” said Senator Feinstein. “But the high cost and slow pace of building new affordable housing units has been an obstacle in addressing this shortage. This bill directs federal funds to local governments and nonprofits so they can acquire existing properties and turn them into affordable housing as quickly and efficiently as possible. We cannot overcome the homelessness crisis without addressing our housing affordability crisis, and I’m proud to introduce a bill that addresses this issue head on.”
“Increasing access to affordable housing is an urgent priority as we recover from this pandemic,” Senator Alex Padilla said. “Reauthorizing the Neighborhood Stabilization Program will allow more development of affordable housing for California’s most vulnerable communities. Federal support for local redevelopment projects is a critical long-term investment in our economic stability.”
“The best way to prevent is to be prepared -- and in order to prevent the tides of speculation from washing away communities most at risk of displacement, we must prepare funding to support them. By establishing funds to support acquisition and rehabilitation of distressed and foreclosed properties, Congress will produce more permanently affordable housing for Americans struggling the most to afford a home. By raising their voices to support this legislation, Americans will ensure neighbors stay stabilized in their communities,” said Lisa Hershey, executive director of Housing California.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was created after the 2008 financial crisis to help build new affordable housing and improve blighted neighborhoods. Given the expense of new construction, rehabilitation of old buildings and the redevelopment of abandoned, foreclosed and bank-owned properties has proven to be a more cost-effective way to add affordable housing in areas struggling with housing shortages.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Reauthorize the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and authorize $1.5 billion to fund the rehabilitation of old buildings, redevelopment of distressed properties, and the conversion of commercial and other non-residential properties to create new affordable housing.
- Ensure all housing created through the program would serve households with income below 100 percent of area median income, and at least 25 percent of housing must serve households with income below 50 percent of area median income.
- Distribute funding through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program Office as a competitive grant to state and local governments.
- Give preference to projects that:
- are located in areas with high levels of cost-burdened households;
- will be located in rural communities, or in close proximity to high-frequency public transportation;
- are located in communities where local land-use policies encourage adaptive reuse or other means to achieve greater housing production; or
- have a higher proportion of low-income units.
Congressman Jared Huffman represents California’s 2nd Congressional District, which spans the North Coast of the state from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border, and includes Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte counties. He currently serves on the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. In the 117th Congress, he chairs the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. He is the founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus.
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