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$100M Investment: Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen Leads Biden Admin’s Effort to Address US Housing Affordability Crisis – What You Need to Know!

Janet Yellen Unveils a $100M Plan to Ease US Housing Affordability Crisis

Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen Announces $100M Investment to Support Affordable Housing Financing

The nation’s housing affordability challenge is being addressed by the Biden administration with new initiatives. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen declared in Minneapolis on Monday that the government will provide $100 million in funding for affordable housing over the following three years, according to a report by AP News. This is part of a larger effort to lessen the financial strain that rising housing expenses, soaring food prices and higher interest rates are placing on American households. Janet Yellen emphasized that the United States has historically had a serious shortage of available housing which has made the country’s affordability crisis worse and deteriorated since the pandemic. Home prices increased by 46% when comparing March 2020 to March 2024 as reported by the Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index.

The lack of housing is one of the primary talking points of the current general election campaign. Rising housing costs are causing problems for both homeowners and tenants. May saw a fall in existing home sales for the third consecutive month as a result of record-high prices and rising loan rates that put off many potential purchasers. The situation is dire for low-income Americans. The National Low Income Housing Coalition says that there is a lack of nearly 7 million affordable houses for the 10.8 million extremely low-income households in the United States. There is not enough affordable housing in any county or state for minimum-wage workers. The exorbitant cost of housing has turned into a problem for public safety in certain places like Martha’s Vineyard making it challenging to draw in and keep vital employees like 911 dispatchers and correctional officers. President Biden and GOP nominee Donald Trump have proposed various measures to make life more affordable. Biden‘s budget that’s released in March calls for a tax credit for first-time homebuyers and plans to build over 2 million homes. It also seeks to expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

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$100M Investment: Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen Leads Biden Admin’s Effort to Address US Housing Affordability Crisis – What You Need to Know! (PHOTO: Los Angeles Times)

Janet Yellen Encourages Office Conversions, Urges Fed Rate Cut to Stabilize Market

Furthermore, the administration is pushing for the transformation of vacant commercial buildings into residential spaces and offering billions of dollars in federal funds to facilitate these moves. The Department of Housing and Urban Development gave cities $85 million in July 2023 to assist in removing obstacles to affordable housing such as restrictive zoning regulations. According to economists like Sal Guatieri of BMO Capital Markets, the housing market won’t get better unless the Federal Reserve cuts its benchmark interest rate which is currently 5.3%. Diane Yentel who is the president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition stressed that although the government has taken steps to address the situation there is still much more work remains including legislative action for significant housing investments.

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