Doyle, Evans, advocates outline major gains for affordable housing in House Build Back Better bill, urge Senate to match it

September 17, 2021
Press Release

PITTSBURGH (Sept. 17, 2021) – Congressmen Mike Doyle (PA-18) and Dwight Evans (PA-3) joined with housing advocates today to outline major gains for affordable housing in the “Build Back Better” reconciliation bill that’s pending in the House of Representatives, and called on the Senate to match that funding.

Doyle and Evans had proposed $63 billion for affordable housing in their Housing Is Essential plan in March. The House bill would provide more than $300 billion.

“The Build Back Better Act drafted by the House this week includes substantially more funding for affordable housing than we ever dared to hope,” Doyle said. “This legislation would go a long way towards reversing the disinvestment we’ve seen in affordable housing in recent years. It would make housing affordable again for millions of American families. We’re here today to call on the Senate to adopt these or comparable levels when it takes up the Build Back Better Act in the coming weeks.”

Evans said, “We’re calling for the Senate to match the House. Last year, voters had the opportunity to stay the course. They voted for change. It’s not enough to go back to how things were right before the pandemic. A lot of working people were already struggling. A lack of affordable housing has been a problem almost everywhere in America – not just in Pennsylvania’s two largest cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but across the state – as well as neighboring states like Ohio and West Virginia. It’s time to keep the promise made by President Biden and Democrats in Congress – the promise to Build Back Better after the pandemic.”

The congressmen provided some highlights of increased funding in the House bill:

Program                      Housing Is Essential plan                   House bill

Project-Based Rental Assistance        $15 billion                  $15 billion

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance        $30 billion                  $75 billion

Housing for the Elderly                      $1.5 billion                 $2.5 billion

Housing for the Disabled                    $400 million               $1 billion

Housing Trust Fund                            $5 billion                    $37 billion

Public Housing Capital Fund              $6 billion                    $77.25 billion

HOME Investment Partnerships         $3 billion                    $35 billion

Larry Swanson, executive director of Pittsburgh-based ACTION-Housing, Inc., said, “The affordable housing resources included in Build Back Better are essential tools to build solutions to the impact of the covid pandemic on those most impacted and to assure that the recovery is inclusive, just and humane.“ 

Ashley McBride, state director of For Our Future PA, said, “The affordable housing crisis was acute well before the pandemic, but it has been exacerbated by the economic impact the virus has had on working people across America. Sadly, it is an understatement to say the time for action on housing is long overdue. The Build Back Better agenda offers much-needed investments in housing that will help level the playing field for families who have to make tough choices between rent or a mortgage payment and putting food on the table.”