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POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

BBB Includes Major Investments in Housing Affordability

| By
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Vice President for Housing Policy

Update, November 30: we’ve corrected the figure for the amount of BBB funding to increase the supply of affordable housing, which is $25 billion.

The latest version of the House Build Back Better (BBB) legislation includes historic investments in key affordable housing programs such as the highly effective Housing Choice Voucher program, marking an important step toward ensuring all low-income households have a secure and affordable place to live.

As the total cost of BBB was reduced, the allocation for housing programs under the jurisdiction of the House Financial Services Committee declined to $150 billion — a lower amount than the committee approved earlier this year. But the bill still includes funding for critical housing vouchers that would reduce housing instability for about 300,000 households with the lowest incomes once fully phased in, including families with young children, people with disabilities, and seniors. (See Table 1.) We estimate that more than 70 percent of people served through this historic expansion of Housing Choice Vouchers will be people of color. (See Table 2.) BBB targets part of its voucher funding to assist about 80,000 households experiencing or at risk of homelessness (including survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking), which will make important progress toward ending homelessness. More than 580,000 people sleep on the streets or in shelters each night, as of the last census taken in January 2020.

Several key housing investments in BBB help people with the lowest incomes, who face the greatest challenges in affording stable housing. The bill provides $65 billion to repair and renovate public housing, which will preserve our nation’s public housing stock and improve living conditions for the more than 1.8 million public housing residents by addressing unmet renovation and repair needs that have accumulated for decades. It also provides $25 billion to increase the supply of affordable housing through the national Housing Trust Fund and HOME Investment Partnerships program. And it provides $26 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers and other rental assistance programs, which help people afford private apartments.

Specifically, the $26 billion in rental assistance affects these key programs:

  • Housing Choice Vouchers ($24 billion), which extremely low-income households can use to rent units of their choice. This includes $7.1 billion devoted to serving families and individuals experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness and survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. The rest of this funding would target households with extremely low incomes — below 30 percent of median income — who struggle to afford housing and frequently find themselves at risk of eviction. The funds will help them avoid housing instability, homelessness, evictions and related crises, and disruptive moves that can interrupt children’s educational progress. Some vouchers will be paired with capital investments to ensure newly developed units are affordable to extremely low-income households.

    The 300,000 new vouchers will be phased in over five years, with funding to maintain them through 2029. BBB also includes needed supports to help households with vouchers find units in neighborhoods where they want to live and incentives for landlords to accept vouchers, among other things.

    The new vouchers will significantly benefit families with children and historically marginalized populations. Of the nearly 700,000 people who will benefit from the vouchers, about 274,000 are children, 138,000 are people with disabilities, and 76,000 are seniors.

  • Project-Based Rental Assistance ($1 billion), which can be combined with capital investments through the national Housing Trust Fund and other programs to ensure that newly developed properties are affordable for households with the lowest incomes for at least 20 years.
  • The Section 811 and 202 programs for people with disabilities and seniors, respectively ($500 million each). These investments can be used for capital funds and project-based rental assistance to create more supportive housing.

Build Back Better’s housing investments will begin addressing the full range of affordable housing needs across the country and significantly improve the lives of children and people who have been historically marginalized, including people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and people experiencing homelessness. Housing investments are also key to ensuring that Build Back Better gets the most out of its other important investments. For example, BBB’s investments in preschool and child care will go further because its housing assistance will help prevent housing instability (which can cause children to move frequently, disrupting school and child care arrangements) and homelessness and overcrowding (which can disrupt children’s sleep and ability to learn and develop).

TABLE 1      
Estimated Number of Households and People Assisted Through Build Back Better’s Housing Voucher Expansion, by State  
State Households People Female Children (Under 18) People With Disabilities Seniors (62 and older)  
Alabama 4,900 10,800 6,700 5,000 1,600 600  
Alaska 500 1,000 600 400 300 100  
Arizona 5,900 14,300 8,200 6,100 2,300 1,200  
Arkansas 2,800 6,100 3,800 2,700 1,200 400  
California 42,500 107,200 62,000 36,000 22,900 17,800  
Colorado 4,600 9,500 5,500 3,500 2,100 1,000  
Connecticut 3,600 7,500 4,600 2,700 1,600 900  
Delaware 700 1,600 1,000 700 300 100  
District of Columbia 1,400 2,600 1,600 800 600 300  
Florida 17,800 40,500 24,400 16,400 7,400 4,800  
Georgia 9,700 23,600 14,400 10,600 3,500 1,700  
Hawai’i 1,100 2,600 1,500 1,000 500 400  
Idaho 1,300 2,600 1,500 1,000 600 200  
Illinois 12,800 27,700 16,800 10,700 4,800 2,800  
Indiana 6,000 13,200 7,900 5,700 2,400 900  
Iowa 2,400 4,800 2,900 1,800 1,000 400  
Kansas 2,400 4,800 2,800 1,900 1,100 400  
Kentucky 4,300 9,800 5,900 4,200 2,000 600  
Louisiana 5,100 11,700 7,200 5,400 1,900 700  
Maine 1,000 1,900 1,100 600 600 200  
Maryland 5,000 11,000 6,700 4,200 2,400 1,300  
Massachusetts 7,000 14,100 8,600 4,600 3,700 2,000  
Michigan 8,800 19,200 11,400 7,900 4,100 1,400  
Minnesota 4,000 8,000 4,700 3,300 1,600 800  
Mississippi 3,000 7,500 4,700 3,600 1,100 300  
Missouri 5,400 11,400 6,900 4,900 2,200 800  
Montana 800 1,500 800 500 400 200  
Nebraska 1,600 3,200 1,900 1,300 600 300  
Nevada 2,900 6,400 3,600 2,700 1,200 600  
New Hampshire 900 1,600 1,000 500 500 200  
New Jersey 8,600 19,500 11,900 7,100 3,900 2,900  
New Mexico 1,900 4,300 2,500 1,800 900 400  
New York 28,400 62,500 37,000 21,400 14,100 10,000  
North Carolina 9,300 21,300 13,100 9,200 3,600 1,600  
North Dakota 700 1,200 700 400 300 200  
Ohio 11,800 25,300 15,000 10,800 5,200 1,800  
Oklahoma 3,300 7,400 4,400 3,300 1,400 500  
Oregon 3,900 8,000 4,000 2,800 2,000 900  
Pennsylvania 11,800 24,400 14,600 9,300 5,600 2,400  
Puerto Rico 1,700 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A  
Rhode Island 1,200 2,400 1,500 900 500 200  
South Carolina 4,300 9,400 5,800 4,300 1,500 600  
South Dakota 700 1,500 900 600 300 100  
Tennessee 6,100 14,100 8,500 6,500 2,400 800  
Texas 23,600 57,800 34,800 26,500 9,200 4,500  
Utah 1,600 4,100 2,300 1,700 900 300  
Vermont 400 800 400 200 200 100  
Virginia 6,600 15,100 9,200 6,000 2,800 1,400  
Washington 6,200 13,000 7,500 4,600 3,300 1,700  
West Virginia 1,600 3,400 2,000 1,300 700 200  
Wisconsin 4,900 9,800 5,900 3,800 2,200 1,000  
Wyoming 400 800 500 300 200 100  
Total U.S. 310,000 693,600 412,900 273,500 137,700 75,500  

Notes: Figures are rounded to the nearest 100 and may not sum to totals due to rounding. N/A indicates reliable data are not available. The American Community Survey (ACS) identifies people with disabilities based on six types of disability; respondents reporting any of the six are considered to have a disability. For more detail on the six disability types see: https://www.census.gov/topics/health/disability/guidance/data-collection-acs.html.

Estimates show the number of vouchers funded after a five-year phase-in. The estimates assume 230,000 of the 310,000 estimated total vouchers are allocated to households that are extremely low income (less than the poverty line or 30 percent of the local median, whichever is higher) and severely cost burdened (paying more than 50 percent of their monthly income on rent and utilities). Estimates also assume another 80,000 vouchers (provided through funding the bill sets aside for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and for survivors of domestic violence and trafficking) are allocated to severely cost-burdened households with incomes less than 15 percent of the local median or half of the poverty line. Demographic population estimates are determined by multiplying the total number of people by a weighted average of the demographic’s share among severely cost-burdened households and among households currently receiving vouchers who meet the income criteria described above. We include Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands in the total number of households, assuming they will receive 500 vouchers based on their share of all households currently receiving vouchers.

Source: CBPP analysis of 2014-2018 ACS microdata and 2018 HUD administrative data; 2018 HUD area median income limits; 2013-2017 Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy data (for Puerto Rico)

 

 

TABLE 2  
Among People Assisted Through Build Back Better’s Housing Voucher Expansion, Estimated Share by State and Race/Ethnicity
State American Indian/Alaska Native Asian/Pacific Islander Black Latino Multiracial White
Alabama 0% 1% 72% 4% 1% 22%
Alaska 19% 8% 13% 11% 10% 39%
Arizona 4% 2% 20% 44% 2% 28%
Arkansas 0% 1% 49% 6% 2% 41%
California 0% 13% 22% 41% 2% 22%
Colorado 1% 3% 19% 36% 2% 40%
Connecticut 0% 2% 28% 44% 2% 24%
Delaware 0% 2% 62% 13% 2% 21%
District of Columbia 0% 2% 85% 6% 1% 6%
Florida 0% 1% 49% 29% 1% 20%
Georgia 0% 2% 74% 8% 2% 15%
Hawai’i 0% 47% 2% 18% 17% 17%
Idaho 2% 1% 4% 19% 2% 73%
Illinois 0% 3% 61% 14% 2% 21%
Indiana 0% 2% 45% 7% 3% 43%
Iowa 1% 4% 26% 9% 2% 58%
Kansas 1% 3% 34% 14% 4% 45%
Kentucky 0% 1% 31% 4% 3% 60%
Louisiana 0% 1% 78% 4% 1% 16%
Maine 1% 1% 10% 3% 4% 81%
Maryland 0% 3% 65% 10% 2% 20%
Massachusetts 0% 6% 19% 34% 2% 38%
Michigan 1% 2% 54% 6% 3% 35%
Minnesota 3% 4% 46% 8% 4% 35%
Mississippi 0% 1% 79% 2% 1% 17%
Missouri 0% 2% 49% 4% 3% 42%
Montana 19% 1% 1% 6% 3% 69%
Nebraska 2% 2% 34% 14% 3% 45%
Nevada 1% 3% 43% 25% 3% 25%
New Hampshire 0% 2% 5% 12% 2% 79%
New Jersey 0% 4% 36% 34% 1% 25%
New Mexico 8% 1% 5% 64% 1% 21%
New York 0% 5% 28% 34% 2% 30%
North Carolina 1% 1% 61% 9% 2% 26%
North Dakota 15% 3% 13% 4% 3% 62%
Ohio 0% 1% 50% 6% 3% 40%
Oklahoma 7% 2% 38% 10% 7% 36%
Oregon 1% 4% 11% 18% 5% 60%
Pennsylvania 0% 3% 41% 16% 2% 37%
Rhode Island 1% 3% 14% 37% 2% 43%
South Carolina 0% 1% 71% 5% 2% 21%
South Dakota 33% 3% 8% 7% 2% 47%
Tennessee 0% 1% 57% 6% 2% 34%
Texas 0% 2% 40% 41% 1% 15%
Utah 2% 6% 9% 23% 2% 58%
Vermont 1% 3% 6% 2% 2% 87%
Virginia 0% 4% 55% 10% 2% 29%
Washington 2% 8% 19% 15% 6% 49%
West Virginia 0% 1% 13% 1% 3% 81%
Wisconsin 1% 3% 39% 11% 3% 43%
Wyoming 3% 1% 3% 20% 3% 70%
Total U.S. 1% 4% 40% 23% 2% 29%

Notes: Latino category may contain individuals of any race who identify as Latino or Hispanic; other categories exclude individuals who identify as Latino or Hispanic. Race-ethnicity shares are determined by calculating a weighted average of race-ethnicity shares among households that are severely cost burdened (paying more than 50 percent of their monthly income on rent and utilities) and among households currently receiving vouchers, in the income ranges the vouchers would likely target.

Source: CBPP analysis of 2014-2018 American Community Survey microdata and 2018 HUD administrative data; 2018 HUD area median income limits

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