Joe Biden Unveils $640 Billion Plan for Affordable Housing Across U.S.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden has unveiled a $640 billion plan to bring affordable housing to residents across the United States.

Revealing the plan on Monday, Biden's campaign team said the former Vice president wanted to help "rebuild the middle class and ensure that this time, everyone comes along."

In effort to bring that goal to fruition, Biden's plan is to invest $640 billion over 10 years in order to ensure that "every American has access to housing that is affordable, stable, safe and healthy, accessible, energy efficient and resilient, and located near good schools and with a reasonable commute to their jobs."

The plan includes tax credits that would benefit first-time homebuyers and low-income renters, while also providing more government assistance to the renters who need it most.

It would also seek to end "redlining and other discriminatory and unfair practices in the housing market," in addition to "pursuing a comprehensive approach to ending homelessness."

If elected president, Biden's campaign team said, the former VP would funnel $640 billion over 10 years in order to ensure that "every American has access to housing that is affordable, stable, safe and healthy, accessible, energy efficient and resilient, and located near good schools and with a reasonable commute to their jobs."

"He believes the middle class isn't a number, but a value set which includes the ability to own your own home and live in a safe community," Biden's campaign team said in a fact sheet on the plan. "Housing should be a right, not a privilege."

At present, Biden's campaign team said, "tens of millions of Americans spend more than 30% of their income on housing—leaving them with nowhere near enough money left over to meet other needs, from groceries to prescription drugs. And, tens of millions of Americans live in homes that endanger their health and safety."

"Communities of color," the former vice president's campaign team acknowledged, "are disproportionately impacted by the failures in our housing markets, with homeownership rates for Black and Latino individuals falling far below the rate for white individuals. Because home ownership is how many families save and build wealth, these racial disparities in home ownership contribute to the racial wealth gap. It is far past time to put an end to systemic housing discrimination and other contributors to this disparity."

Under Biden's plan a number of Obama administration policies would be restored, including those seeking to fight housing discrimination that were undone by President Donald Trump.

On his first day in office, the former vice president would also direct his housing and urban development secretary to start a task force of mayors and other local elected officials aimed at addressing homelessness. Biden would also support California Rep. Maxine Waters' $13 billion Ending Homelessness Act.

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks at a Nevada Caucus watch party on February 22, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the Nevada caucuses. Biden has rolled out his awaited housing plan in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. RONDA CHURCHILL/AFP/Getty

While Biden has pledged to invest $640 billion in creating more housing opportunities, Democratic rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has vowed to put forward $2.5 trillion into building nearly 10 million "permanently affordable" housing units.

$70 billion would be invested in revitalizing public houses, with the money going towards repairs, decarbonization and building new public housing.

The Vermont Sen. would also seek to make rent affordable by making Section 8 vouchers available to all families eligible without the use of a waitlist. He would also seek to "combat gentrification, exclusionary zoning, segregation and speculation," according to his campaign platform, while also fighting to "end homelessness and ensure fair housing for all."

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has also vowed to fight homelessness and create affordable housing.

He has promised in his platform to "create hundreds of thousands of new affordable units," while helping renters become homeowners and guaranteeing rental assistance "to extremely low-income Americans."

"Mike will make homelessness a national priority—and double federal spending on homelessness from under $3 billion to $6 billion annually," his platform states. The former New York mayor would also "guarantee housing vouchers to all Americans at or below 30% of the area median income."

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's platform appears more dedicated to aiding renters, who face "stagnant wages" and "sky-rocketing rents."

Under her Housing Plan for America, $500 billion would be invested over the next ten years "to build, preserve, and rehab more than three million units that will be affordable to lower-income families."

The plan would seek to "lower rents by 10%, reform land-use rules that restrict affordable housing construction and further racial segregation, and take a critical first step towards closing the racial wealth gap."

Joe Biden Unveils $640 Billion Plan for Affordable Housing Across U.S. | U.S.