(Washington, D.C.) –Today U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement on the housing provisions included in the newly released framework for Senate Democrats’ Build Back Better budget that will help keep families in Washington state and across the country safe, secure and housed.
“Washington state had a housing crisis well before this pandemic, and COVID has only made that crisis worse—especially for people of color. So I’m glad to see the Build Back Better framework includes a long overdue investment in affordable housing—the largest in our nation’s history. This will not only tackle the root causes of our housing crisis by boosting our stock of public housing, investing in under-resourced neighborhoods, and incentivizing changes to zoning laws, but also help address the immediate realities of the crisis by expanding rental assistance and helping first time home buyers with their down payments,” said Senator Murray. “Part of building back better means not just going back to normal when normal wasn’t working for so many in Washington state—including people facing homelessness and housing insecurity. That’s why I’ve fought to include this historic investment in affordable housing in this framework, and why I’ll continue working to build on this important progress for further federal investments that will help make sure everyone in Washington state can afford a roof over their head.”
The provisions included in the Build Back Better Framework will enable the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of more than 1 million affordable homes, boosting housing supply and reducing price pressures for renters and homeowners. They will address the capital needs of the public housing stock in big cities and rural communities across Washington state and the entire country, and make a historic investment in rental assistance, expanding vouchers to hundreds of thousands of additional families. The framework includes one of the largest investments in down payment assistance in history, enabling hundreds of thousands of first-generation homebuyers to purchase their first home and build wealth. The policies included in the framework will also create more equitable communities, through investing in community-led redevelopments projects in historically under-resourced neighborhoods and removing lead paint from hundreds of thousands of homes, as well as by incentivizing state and local zoning reforms that enable more families to reside in higher opportunity neighborhoods.
Senator Murray has consistently worked to address Washington state’s housing crisis, meeting earlier this month with local leaders and housing advocates to push for major federal investments in affordable housing for Washington state residents and families. Earlier this year, she helped secure more than $400 million in rental assistance, $170 million in homeowner assistance, over 2,400 new Emergency Housing Vouchers, and nearly $100 million for housing and services to support people experiencing homelessness in Washington state specifically through the American Rescue Plan. This year alone, Senator Murray has also already announced more than $100 million in federal awards to combat housing insecurity and invest in public housing infrastructure across Washington state.