The White House says it is taking immediate steps to boost the supply of affordable housing—it will make sure an estimated 100,000 units to be made available to homeowners and renters over the next three years will go to families and nonprofits, not the large investors who have bought an estimated one in six of the homes sold this year. The plan includes boosting the supply of manufactured homes—built in factories and installed on site—and expanding access to capital for state housing agencies to build affordable housing, reports the Wall Street Journal.
With the home supply lagging by between 5.5 million and 6.8 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors, the "scope of the plan is relatively modest," Politico reports. The $3.5 trillion spending package making its way through Congress is expected to include $300 billion to add 2 million more affordable housing units, per Reuters, but President Biden "knows that we can’t wait to take action," the White House said in a statement. "Even before the pandemic, 11 million families—or nearly a quarter of renters—paid more than half of their income on rent," and Biden considers this "unacceptable," the statement said.
The plan, which involves the Federal Housing Finance Agency, regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the Treasury and HUD, uses existing funding and will not require the approval of Congress. (In June, the median home price in the US topped $350,000 for the first time after a record year-on-year increase.)