Omar Introduces Comprehensive Legislation To Address Affordable Housing Crisis

Affordable Housing Opportunities Made Equitable (HOME) Act, comprehensive legislation to tackle the affordable housing crisis

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WASHINGTON – Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) today introduced the Affordable Housing Opportunities Made Equitable (HOME) Act, comprehensive legislation to tackle the affordable housing crisis that is threatening families in Minnesota and throughout America.

Companion legislation was introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley.

“No one deserves to be thrown out of their home, especially in a country with over 600 billionaires, and some of the most extravagant wealth in the history of the world,” said Rep. Omar. “As we speak, people in my district and across the country are being forced to pay thousands of dollars in back-rent that they couldn’t afford then and can’t afford now. This is on top of the devastating affordable housing crisis that existed before the pandemic. We need comprehensive legislation to address this. We need a national commitment to ensure that every American has a high-quality home they can afford. I am proud to partner with Senator Jeff Merkeley to tackle this crisis once and for all.”

“The vision of this legislation is to create a decent home and a decent community for every family. Oregonians in every corner of our state are struggling under the crushing weight of our affordable housing crisis, and like so many other problems, America’s housing emergency has only been made worse by the pandemic,” said Sen. Merkley. “This challenge affects all of us. No one should live in a country where human beings don’t have a roof overhead, or are forced to choose between rent and filling a prescription or buying groceries. Enough is enough. It’s time for Congress to put in place a comprehensive framework to ensure that everyone has a safe, affordable place to call home.”

“More than ever, bold policies are needed to ensure that the lowest income and most marginalized people have a stable, affordable, accessible home,” said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “I applaud Representative Omar for her continued leadership and dedication in advocating for solutions to America’s housing crisis, such as those included in the Making Affordable Housing Opportunities More Equitable Act. Congress should include robust funding for proven solutions in this bill – including rental assistance, public housing, and the Housing Trust Fund – in any budget reconciliation package to help end homelessness and housing poverty in the United States.”

Among other provisions, the Affordable HOME Act includes:

$70b in total for the Capital Fund: $70 billion in FY21 for the Public Housing Capital Fund to address the repairs backlog and also repeals the Fair Cloth amendment to ramp up the construction of additional public housing units by Public Housing Agencies

$40b in total for the Housing Trust Fund: $40 billion in FY21 for the National Housing Trust Fund to build, rehabilitate, preserve, and operate affordable rental housing for extremely low-income people

$10b in total for Federal Downpayment Aid: $1 billion per year from FY22-31 for grants to State Housing Finance agencies to establish new or strengthen existing direct down payment assistance

$10b in total for Permanent Supportive Housing: $1 billion per year from FY22-31 for McKinney-Vento Homeless grants to support permanent supportive housing (PSH), including capital costs, rental subsidies, and services – the PSH model helps reduce chronic homelessness through the integration and coordination of affordable housing assistance with voluntary wraparound services

$10b in total for the Development of Housing Co-ops: $1 billion per year from FY22-31 for HUD grants to localities and CDFIs to form, maintain, and develop shared equity homeownership entities like housing cooperatives & community land trusts

Full text of the legislation is available here. A summary document is available here.

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