Housing Featured Prominently in State of the Union

The latest on the president’s actions and NAA’s response.

By Nicole Upano |

3 minute read

For the first time in a generation, housing was a prominent feature in the Presidential State of the Union address. Importantly, President Biden called upon Congress to pass his plan to build and rehabilitate 2 million rental homes and bring renters’ housing costs down.

Just before the State of the Union, the White House released a number of fact sheets laying out the President’s housing agenda for the remainder of this term, which contemplated policy changes and federal investments to lower the costs of homeownership, build and preserve affordable housing and lower costs for renters, including:

  • An expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program and creation of a new Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit;
  • $20 billion in competitive grant funding to support the construction of affordable multifamily rental units; incentivize local actions to remove unnecessary barriers to housing development; pilot innovative models to increase the production of affordable and workforce rental housing; and spur the construction of new starter homes for middle-class families;
  • Proposing that each Federal Home Loan Bank double its annual contribution to the Affordable Housing Program – from 10 percent of prior year net income to 20 percent – which will raise an additional $3.79 billion for affordable housing over the next decade and assist nearly 380,0000 households; and
  • Expand housing choice vouchers to more than half a million households.

While the National Apartment Association (NAA) is pleased that housing policy is meaningfully in the spotlight, we are concerned about the rhetoric surrounding the President’s housing plans. During the State of the Union address, President Biden remarked: “For millions of renters, we’re cracking down on big landlords who break antitrust laws by price-fixing and driving up rents.” Read NAA’s response to the 2024 State of the Union address.

The President also announced new steps “to crack down on unfair practices” that drive up rents. As part of the President’s Strike Force on Unfair and Illegal Pricing, co-chaired by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), announced by President Biden, he called on federal agencies to root out and stop illegal corporate behavior that hikes prices on American families through alleged anti-competitive, unfair, deceptive or fraudulent business practices.

Additionally, the President announced that the Federal Communications Commission will propose rulemaking that will ban “bulk billing” arrangements between housing providers and broadband providers, intending to lower costs for American renters and promote competition. This is yet another step to dismantle partnership agreements between these parties. These proposed policy changes could have wide-ranging impacts on the industry and potentially significant market disruptions. Read more about NAA’s advocacy on this topic.

NAA continues its federal advocacy efforts on behalf of its members to ensure the industry’s voice is heard in conversations about changing federal laws and regulations. Instead, NAA calls on the Congress and the Administration to adopt responsible and sustainable housing policies to address the nation’s housing affordability and availability challenges.