Congress Approves $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill

Housing Affordability

NAHB supports the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the House today and approved by the Senate this summer.

Shortly before the legislation cleared the Senate in August, NAHB applauded lawmakers for omitting onerous regulatory proposals that would hurt housing affordability.

“NAHB commends Senate Democrats and Republicans for working together with the Biden administration to craft a bipartisan infrastructure package that will make much-needed improvements to the nation’s roads, bridges, broadband and public transportation network while rejecting costly regulatory proposals that would harm housing affordability,” NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said following Senate passage. “Thriving real estate markets depend on high-quality, accessible and efficient infrastructure, and this bill will better and more safely connect Americans to their homes, places of work and local communities.”

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act contains several provisions that will boost housing affordability:

  • By including Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) Energy Infrastructure Act, this legislation advances efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without stringent energy code mandates that will increase housing prices.
  • The measure restores an exemption for water and sewer contributions in aid of construction that will save some developers as much as 40% on water and sewer costs.
  • The bill also streamlines the federal permitting process, which will minimize uncertainty in the housing approval process and make the homes that are built more affordable.

One area of concern regards the use of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee fees as a source of funding to pay for the cost of the legislation. In a letter to lawmakers, NAHB stated that “guarantee fees should only be used as a risk management tool for the Enterprises [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] to guard against potential mortgage credit losses and not to offset other government spending.”

Despite this provision, the legislation is a net plus for housing and contains important provisions that will enhance housing affordability.

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