Mercury News: Biden administration has plan to boost affordable housing

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The Biden administration is announcing an action plan Monday aimed at boosting the supply of affordable housing amid high inflation.

Taken together, administration officials said, the actions announced will help close the affordable housing gap and “ease the burden of housing costs,” noting that housing prices are a key driver of inflation.

Amie Fishman, executive director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, said the president’s announcement are welcome news for the state and Bay Area. “Taking bold administrative action on housing is critical,” she said. The efforts could build momentum for future changes, she said.

A big hurdle for building more affordable housing in California is the formula for awarding low income housing tax credits, Fishman said. If Congress agrees to lower thresholds for obtaining these bonds — which are highly sought by investors and non-profit developers to finance affordable housing projects — California could more than double its production of subsidized housing over the next decade.

“We need this federal change to move all these stalled projects forward,” Fishman said. “We can’t do it without Congress.”

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