Biden Signs $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill Into Law


This post was updated on March 11, 2021.

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package into law on March 11, one day after Congress passed the legislation. “This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country,” Biden said as he signed the bill in the Oval Office.

While NAHB recognizes that this bill is far from perfect, an economic stimulus package is desperately needed and this legislation contains important provisions for the housing community.

Millions of Americans remain underemployed or unemployed, millions of small businesses still require economic relief, and millions of mom and pop landlords have not been receiving rent payments for months, threatening their economic livelihoods.

The legislation includes additional funds for small businesses, rental assistance, school reopenings, nationwide coronavirus vaccine delivery, and aid to state and local governments — which are critical to help many of our members and get the economy back on track.

Regarding aid to state and local governments, this provision is a net plus for members. Without federal aid, critical government services such as planning approvals, building permits and timely inspections are at risk of being curtailed or eliminated, which would result in construction delays and increased costs to home buyers.

Key Provisions

We have highlighted below some of the major provisions included in the legislation:

  • Additional recovery rebates up to $1,400 per taxpayer. Single taxpayers earning up to $75,000 and married couples earning up to $150,000 will be eligible for the full amount. However, the rebates will disappear for individuals earning more than $80,000 annually and couples earning more than $160,000.
  • Child Tax Credit expansion. For 2021, the Child Tax Credit will be fully refundable, and the credit will be increased to $3,000 per eligible child, or $3,600 for children under the age of six. In addition, for 2021, 17-year-old children would be eligible. House Democrats also plan to create a mechanism to advance a portion of the credit to eligible taxpayers monthly.
  • Paid medical and sick leave credits. Employers offering their employees COVID-related paid medical and sick leave would be eligible for an expanded tax credit through Sept. 30.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit. Eligible employers would be able to claim this credit through the end of 2021.
  • Additional aid for small businesses. The legislation provides an additional $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Existing eligibility rules remain in place for small businesses seeking to participate in the PPP, including 501(c)(6) organizations, which include state and local home builders associations. The measure also provides an additional $15 billion for the targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance program.
  • $27.5 billion for emergency rental aid. The rental component includes the following:
    • $21.5 billion for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
      • Unlike previous funds, there is no specific language mandating a portion of the funds for rental arrears.
    • $5 billion for emergency Housing Choice Vouchers.
    • $100 million for unassisted households in USDA-subsidized properties.
    • $750 million for the Indian Housing Block Grant program and the Indian Community Development Block Grant program.
    • $100 million for NeighborWorks housing counseling.
  • Extension of unemployment benefits. The existing $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits that were due to expire on March 14 will be extended through Sept. 6. The first $10,200 of unemployment benefits will be tax-free for households earning less than $150,000.
  • Home owner assistance efforts. The bill includes $10 billion for home owner assistance efforts, including direct relief with mortgage payments, small 1-4 rental unit properties, property tax payments and utility costs.
  • Homelessness assistance funding. The legislation provides $5 billion for homelessness assistance funding.
  • $350 billion in state and local pandemic relief. Additional funding will enable state and local governments to avoid layoffs of police, teachers and firefighters, and discourage local jurisdictions from increasing impact fees and other construction fees that harm housing affordability.

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