Warren Statement on Biden Administration Plans to Increase Affordable Housing Supply
Washington, D.C. - Today, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, released the following statement regarding President Biden’s announcement of multiple steps to increase the supply of affordable housing which include provisions of her and Representatives Emanuel Cleaver's (D-Mo.) bill, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act:
“I’m very glad to see the Biden administration take action I called for in my American Housing and Economic Mobility Act to increase the supply of affordable housing for families and prevent further private equity buy-up of housing. For too long, federal policy has accelerated the transition of owner-occupied homes into the hands of corporate investors, destabilizing neighborhoods and harming families. In particular, I’m glad to see that HUD is adding new protections to the Claims Without Conveyance of Title Program, committing to sell a high percentage of distressed HUD properties to nonprofits for community-aligned development, and increasing outreach to community partners regarding the sale of distressed properties. I’ve called for all of these changes, and they could not be more urgent,” said Senator Warren.
Similar to multiple provisions in Senator Warren’s American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, the White House’s plans call for:
Claims Without Conveyance of Title Program: The White House announced that HUD “will develop guidelines over the next year that provides an exclusive listing period during which only governmental entities, non-profits, and owner occupant buyers may submit bids” for certain properties in Second Chance Claims Without Conveyance of Title (CWCOT) sales. The Senator’s bill called for HUD to take this action. Senator Warren also asked FHA Commissioner nominee Julia Gordon, at her nomination hearing, to commit to looking into revising CWCOT guidelines to prioritize making distressed homes available to homeowners, not corporate investors; Gordon committed to doing so.
Sale of distressed HUD properties to nonprofits: The White House plans direct that for an upcoming sale of mortgage notes for single family properties, “HUD is exploring offering 50% of those notes to non-profit and community organizations that commit to rehabilitating, and then selling, the related properties to owner occupants or creating other positive outcomes for the communities.” The Senator’s bill calls for not less than 90% of applicable mortgages in an auction to be sold to owner-occupants, transferred to an entity that will operate it as affordable rental housing, or to a nonprofit agency to develop the property for owner-occupancy or affordable rental housing.
Improving Outreach to Non-Profits for Real Estate Owned Sales: The White House announced that HUD will expand outreach to non-profit entities, local governments, and other interested community organizations to further educate them on the note sales process for distressed properties. The Senator’s bill calls for HUD to take action to identify and recruit community partners, engage in consultations with them before the sale of a pool of coverage mortgages, and prioritize the sale of pools of single-family mortgages to community partners.
Addressing exclusionary zoning laws: The White House plans call “on state and local governments to take action to address zoning policies that have historically locked families out of communities and continue to limit housing supply” and announced several actions to address this issue. Section 101 of Senator Warren’s American Housing and Economic Mobility Act creates a competitive grant program to incentivize states and localities to reform zoning laws that restrict the production of affordable housing. Senator Warren spoke with Secretary Fudge about the imperative to take on exclusionary zoning at a hearing in May.
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