Joe Biden was Vice President under President Obama from 2008-2016. He served as a Senator from Delaware from 1972-1978. He is best known for his push to enact the Violence Against Women Act, support of anti-gun violence measures and efforts to address climate change. He does not have a specific affordable housing plan, but supports efforts to open up affordable housing opportunities for those with criminal records.
Biden’s plan proposes a bill of rights for renters, and protection for renters from discrimination on the basis of source of income. Biden would also provide legal assistance to those facing eviction. In addition, Biden would strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires lenders to serve all groups within their communities, including low-income renters.
Biden's campaign also supports ensuring housing opportunities for people with criminal histories. The Biden Plan for Strengthening America's Commitment to Justice even suggests that HUD only approve contracts with entities that will provide a "second chance" to those with criminal histories who need affordable housing and social services.
In a town hall event on February 6th, Joe Biden stated "The way I do it, first of all, no one should be working in the United States of America 40 hours a week and living in poverty. And that's why we have to raise, nationally, the standard of $15 an hour for every worker in America, number one."
The Biden housing plan proposes a $100 billion Affordable Housing Fund. This funding includes $65 billion for state housing authorities and Indian Housing Block Grant agencies to build or rehabilitate low-cost, efficient, accessible and resilient housing in areas where affordable housing is in short supply. It also includes $10 billion to make homes more energy efficient. In addition, the plan proposes $5 billion to expand the HOME program, $10 billion over 10 years for Community Development Block Grants, and would increase the National Housing Trust Fund by $20 billion.
In addition, the Biden plan would expand funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). CDFIs invest in affordable housing and community development projects that benefit low-income residents. In rural communities, Biden proposes increased funding for the Section 515 Multifamily Loan program, which builds and rehabilitates low-cost apartments in rural areas.
The Biden plan calls for developing a national strategy to make housing a right for all. It calls for passing the Ending Homelessness Act sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). This would provide $13 billion over five years, including $5 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants. The funding would produce 400,000 additional housing units for homeless individuals. The plan also calls for reforming affordable housing programs to promote “housing first” approaches to homelessness. This means that local providers place homeless individuals as quickly as possible in permanent housing, then provide services to help people stabilize their situations. Biden’s plan also calls for more work reducing homelessness among veterans.
Biden would roll back Trump administration moves to reduce fair housing and fair lending protections for homeowners. He also proposes a homeowner’s bill of rights that would provide new fair lending and fair housing protections for homeowners. The plan also calls for making the First Downpayment Tax Credit permanent and advanceable. The $15,000 credit could be used when closing on a home mortgage. Biden would also expand the Good Neighbor Next Door program for first responders, teachers and other public servants. For rural low-income residents, the Biden plan would increase funding for the Section 502 Direct Loan program. This program provides low-interest loans with no downpayment for low-income homebuyers. Interest rates are based on income level.
Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) and Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) would be fully funded under Biden’s housing plan so that every eligible household receives assistance. This would provide housing assistance to 17 million households. Biden would also enact a law banning discrimination based on source of income. This would make it easier for low-income renters to use their vouchers in the private rental market.
Increased funding would be provided for USDA’s Multifamily loan programs under Biden’s plan, including the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing and Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing programs. It would also increase funding for Section 502 Direct loans that help low-income rural residents become homeowners. A Biden administration would follow the “10-20-30” rule promoted by Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC). It would direct 10% of all Rural Development funding to counties where 20% or more of the population has lived below the poverty line for 30 years.
The Biden plan would tie-in federal investments in affordable housing with local and state efforts to change regulations that limit affordable housing or promote sprawl.
Biden’s plan would also expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program with a $10 billion investment. It would also provide $5 billion per year for the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program.
Funding would be increased for the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities programs under Biden’s plan.
The Biden plan proposes $5 billion for a Renters Tax Credit for families that make too much to qualify for Section 8 rental assistance, but who still struggle to pay rent. The credit will allow these families to pay no more than 30% of their monthly income for rent.