Fair Shot Agenda Pillar: Opportunity
Across all Indiana communities – urban, suburban and rural – I often hear from Hoosiers of all income levels who have experienced difficulty finding affordable housing. When families pay too much of their income toward housing, it has a negative impact on other parts of their lives. That’s why I have championed several legislative proposals to ensure families across the state and the country have access to safe, affordable housing. One of the most significant drivers of the housing affordability crisis is burdensome and discriminatory local zoning and land use policies that drive up housing costs in communities across America, including Indiana. These policies exacerbate the housing affordability crisis and stifle the ability of Americans to move to areas of opportunity. I have taken steps to eliminate these harmful regulations and incentivize zoning policies that ensure that all Hoosiers can find affordable housing in areas where they work, where their children can get a quality education, and where the entire family feels safe at home.
A recap of my current housing priorities can be found here.
What I've Done:
- Across Indiana, we have seen once-vibrant neighborhoods struggle under poor economic conditions and lack of investment. I introduced the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) to revitalize housing in distressed neighborhoods in Indiana and across the country. This bill would incentivize private invest in blighted communities by creating a federal tax credit that covers the excess cost of building and renovating homes in distressed communities. NHIA would cap the sale price of these homes, ensuring affordability. In Indiana alone, the NHIA could lead to the revitalization of 9,570 homes and create $2.4 billion in development revenue over the next 10 years.
- As many American families struggle to find a safe, affordable place to call home and homelessness across the nation continues to rise, I introduced bipartisan legislation to help build nearly two million new affordable homes over the next decade. The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (AHCIA) would support the ﬁnancing of more aﬀordable housing by expanding and strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). Since its creation, LIHTC has led to the building or restoration of more than 3.5 million aﬀordable housing units, nearly 90 percent of all federally funded aﬀordable housing during that time. In Indiana, the AHCIA would provide an additional 44,500 housing units, leading to an estimated 67,500 more jobs and generating over $7 billion in wages over the next 10 years.
- Instead of adopting inclusive land use policies that allow citizens of all income levels, backgrounds, and identities to live, work, and flourish in their city or town, some communities are building paper walls of regulations that negatively affect and sometimes discriminate against low- and middle-income Americans. In the midst of a nationwide housing affordability crisis, I reintroduced the Yes in my Backyard (YIMBY) Act to encourage localities to eliminate burdensome and discriminatory zoning and land use policies that drive up housing costs and exacerbate the housing affordability crisis nationwide. The YIMBY Act would increase transparency in land use and zoning decisions, ultimately encouraging localities to eliminate barriers to much-needed housing. By requiring transparency, the bill avoids encroaching on the rights of states and localities to set zoning policies, while incentivizing pro-housing regulations.
- Evidence shows that empowering families with young children to choose communities with good jobs, quality schools, and safe neighborhoods leads to a decline in poverty and an increase in a child’s potential to succeed. I introduced the bipartisan Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act to help improve outcomes for families with young children by increasing access to housing mobility vouchers and providing counseling services. This bill will create 250,000 new housing mobility vouchers to allow families to move to areas with greater opportunity. When a child grows up in a high opportunity area, research shows they are more likely to have successful life outcomes. Whether it be lower crime, better education, access to transportation, quality health care, or suitable housing, higher opportunity areas offer children a greater chance to succeed. This bipartisan bill recognizes that certain areas offer different opportunities and will increase mobility by allowing people to choose the best neighborhood for their families.
- Evidence shows that Housing Choice Vouchers as currently implemented fail to meet their goals. To fix this I successfully introduced and secured passage of the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act (S. 291) to enable the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and public housing authorities to develop new models for incentivizing greater choice and improved mobility in HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program. This mobility demonstration was signed into law in early 2019 and is on its way to full implementation.