Possible Biden Housing and Urban Development Initiatives for State and Local Governments

Published: January 08, 2021

Administration TransitionCommunity DevelopmentPublic HousingUrban Planning

President-Elect Joe Biden has announced that congresswoman Marcia Fudge will be his nominee for secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

President-elect Joe Biden has announced that Marcia Fudge, a congresswoman from Ohio, will be his nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Fudge is a longtime champion of affordable housing, urban revitalization and infrastructure investment, all of which are likely to influence the way she leads HUD. Previously, Fudge was mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, where she worked with public housing and urban development while ensuring that people had a safe place to live. She is an advocate of affordable housing and, like Biden, believes that housing is a right.

Fudge has said that the most pressing issue she will deal with is the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on housing. With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating many housing problems and causing millions of Americans to fall behind on rent, affordable housing will be a priority for the Biden administration. Fudge may work with state and local governments to help expand affordable housing and reduce or prevent homelessness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the campaign, Biden also pledged to give states and localities the power to modernize housing regulations through expanded Local Housing Policy Grants. Biden also plans to enact legislation that would require any states that receives the Community Development Block Grants or Surface Transportation Block Grants to develop plans for inclusionary zoning, with the goal to eliminate state and local housing regulations that can lead to discrimination against people of color and low-income families. If state and local governments pass inclusionary zoning laws, the areas in which affordable housing is built may increase, which in turn would present opportunities for contractors who work with housing authorities.

Additionally, the Biden campaign calls for $65 billion for state housing authorities to increase the supply and lower the cost of housing by providing grants to construct or fix up low-cost, efficient and accessible housing in areas with housing shortages. Biden also proposed increasing funding to the Community Development Block Grant program, which allows local governments to expand affordable housing and improve infrastructure, by $10 billion over ten years. Both of these proposals may represent opportunities for state and local government contractors to build more housing units and to improve or expand existing units.

Overall, the Biden administration is likely to make expanding access to affordable housing and dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic priorities in their housing policy. There is also likely to be a focus on making environmental friendly upgrades and changes to housing in order to fight climate change, which is a priority in the Biden administration.