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  • Writer's pictureOlga Nesterova

Biden Administration Awards $85 Million in PRO Housing Grants to Boost Affordable Housing Nationwide

NOAH BERGER | AFP | GETTY I MAGES
NOAH BERGER | AFP | GETTY I MAGES

Today, Vice President Kamala Harris and Acting Secretary Todman announced a significant step forward in the Biden administration's efforts to tackle the housing affordability crisis gripping communities across the United States. The administration has awarded $85 million in grants through the Pathways to Removing Obstacles to Housing (PRO Housing) program, aimed at empowering localities to enhance housing supply and reduce costs for American families.


The PRO Housing initiative represents a pioneering approach by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support communities in overcoming barriers hindering the development and preservation of affordable housing units. These barriers include high land and development costs, outdated land-use policies, inadequate infrastructure, and environmental hazards.


In her statement, Vice President Harris underscored the urgency of addressing housing affordability, highlighting that despite recent progress, challenges persist in making homeownership and renting more accessible. The grants, distributed to 21 diverse communities ranging from rural towns to urban counties, will facilitate locally-led initiatives to streamline housing development processes and update zoning regulations.


"The $85 million in PRO Housing funds announced today will empower communities nationwide to lower housing costs and boost housing supply through locally-led planning, infrastructure, development, and preservation activities in 21 communities," Vice President Harris stated.

The demand for PRO Housing grants was overwhelming, with applications pouring in from over 175 communities across 47 states and territories, underscoring the widespread need for federal support in tackling housing affordability challenges.


In addition to the grant funding, the selected communities will participate in a technical assistance cohort aimed at fostering peer learning and supporting the effective implementation of housing initiatives. This collaborative approach aligns with broader administration efforts to leverage federal resources and innovative solutions to expand housing options.


The PRO Housing initiative forms part of President Biden's comprehensive strategy to address housing affordability, which includes a proposed $258 billion investment in housing in the Fiscal Year 2025 Budget. This budget also includes provisions for a $20 billion Innovation Fund for Housing Expansion, intended to further alleviate housing barriers and promote sustainable development practices, along with an additional $100 million request for PRO Housing grants. These allocations demonstrate the administration's ongoing commitment to scaling up efforts to alleviate housing barriers and promote sustainable development practices.


Acting HUD Secretary, Todman, emphasized the administration's commitment to reducing housing costs during the announcement, stating, "President Biden and Vice President Harris have prioritized reducing housing costs. As I travel across the country, I hear from people all the time, including builders, elected officials, and other stakeholders, about how difficult it is to build housing."

The PRO Housing grants complement other administration initiatives aimed at bolstering housing supply and affordability, including efforts to convert commercial properties into residential units, expanding access to low-cost financing, and enhancing the energy efficiency of affordable housing.


Vice President Harris's advocacy for affordable housing dates back to her tenure as Attorney General of California and as a U.S. Senator, where she championed legislation to expand housing options and protect homeowners. Her leadership in securing $5.5 billion in funding to address homelessness and promote economic growth underscores her ongoing commitment to ensuring all Americans have access to safe and affordable housing.


The administration's PRO Housing grants mark a significant milestone in advancing housing affordability goals, with additional funding expected later this summer. As communities across the nation grapple with housing challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, these grants represent a crucial federal investment in building resilient, inclusive, and affordable housing solutions.


Through initiatives like PRO Housing, the Biden administration continues to demonstrate its commitment to fostering equitable housing opportunities and addressing the pressing needs of communities nationwide.

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