Build Back Better Plan Partners with CDFIs: Focus on Affordable Housing
Jennifer A. Vasiloff
As Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee has emphasized: “Housing is Infrastructure!” Robust investments in affordable housing must be included in the final Build Back Better legislation currently being negotiated between Congress and the Biden Administration.
In remarks to the 2021 OFN Virtual Conference, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) underscored the important role that CDFIs play in the affordable housing market through offering mortgages to first time homebuyers as well as financing affordable rental units.
OFN supports ALL the affordable housing provisions in the House Financial Services Committee recommendation. In addition, the House Ways and Means Committee has proposed important expansions to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, permanency of the New Markets Tax Credit program, and a new Neighborhood Homes Investment Act which OFN also endorses.
In particular, OFN is advocating for the $9.4 billion Housing Investment Fund. This program would be administered by the CDFI Fund and is similar to the Capital Magnet Fund.
“The CDFI Fund’s Capital Magnet Fund, on which the Housing Investment Fund is modelled, utilizes the ability of CDFIs to leverage private sector capital with public resources to make each federal dollar go further,” said Lisa Mensah, OFN’s president and CEO. “Directing capital to experienced, specialized lenders through the Housing Investment Fund is an important tool for addressing the nation’s affordable housing crisis. OFN urges significant investments in housing as outlined in the Build Back Better proposal.”