Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro Proposes Affordable Housing Plan
Presidential candidates are increasingly focused on affordable housing. Most recently, Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro joined other presidential hopefuls, including Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), in releasing a housing plan that calls for major investments in affordable housing.
Secretary Castro’s People First Housing Plan seeks to do the following to increase the supply of affordable housing:
- Support construction of affordable housing units by increasing the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund by at least $45 billion per year. The Trust Fund will also be used for additional public housing construction for vulnerable communities including senior citizens.
- Lower long-term costs in affordable and public housing by investing in durability, sustainability, and energy efficiency through an eight-year initiative to upgrade all public housing units with capital improvements, totaling $5 billion a year for 10 years.
- Expand the LIHTC by $4 billion a year and reform it to better direct private investment in expanding the supply of affordable housing for low-income families, pilot local revolving loan funds to accelerate development timelines, and adapt and reform the program to accommodate its expansion. These reforms will ensure its effectiveness, lower its costs, and strengthen federal oversight and protections over state-run LIHTC programs. They will also spur incentives to extend the period before apartments can be converted to market-rate units to up to 50 years and prioritize new construction in high-opportunity areas.
- Reform local zoning reforms that inhibit affordable housing development by establishing federal guidelines on land use and zoning through a Presidential Commission on Zoning Reform, with input from government agencies that include HUD, Transportation, Justice, and the Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to civil rights groups and representatives from state and local governments.
- Ensure guidelines are consistent with efforts to combat segregation in public schools and address practices like red-lining and exclusionary zoning.