MReport December 2020

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TH E M R EP O RT | 61 O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST GOVERNMENT Presidential Agenda How President-elect Biden might alter the housing market. A ccording to an analysis from, Joseph Biden will begin his presidency during a unique time in the housing market, as the industry is experiencing a shortage of home inventory, record-low interest rates, and high home prices. There is no doubt that this housing market environment has made it challenging for middle- and low- income Americans to purchase a home, and entry-level housing has become extremely competitive. "Biden has a really ambitious agenda that will try to create opportunities for more low- and middle-income Americans to become homeowners or afford rental housing," Chief Economist Danielle Hale said. During his run for the presidency, Biden's campaign released a $640 billion housing plan. This plan includes assisting first-time homebuyers by providing them with "a down payment tax credit of up to $15,000," which they could apply when purchasing a home. "Biden recognizes how challenging it can be for some people to become homeowners," Hale said. She predicts that a Biden administration would focus housing initiatives on policies that would help those who have struggled to attain homeownership in the past. Some Americans who could become eligible for lower home prices, as well as assistance with down payments, are "teachers, first responders, and other public and national service workers." This kind of aid might have limitations, however. These categories of potential home buyers might only receive this assistance if they were looking to purchase a home in a low- income neighborhood or a more expensive area and offers little affordable housing opportunities. Another primary concern discussed during Joe Biden's run for the presidency is racial equity and discrimination. Former Vice President Biden has discussed his intentions to help bridge the racial housing gap, and homeownership is a critical way in which racial and ethnic minorities could help build generational wealth and a brighter future. Biden has proposed in the past that there should be "a national standard for appraising homes," which would ensure that home values in communities of color would not "be assessed for less than similar homes in comparable white neighborhoods." In addition to helping homeowners, the president-elect has also voiced his intent to assist struggling renters. It is possible that under a Biden administration, low-income renters could receive a tax credit, which would enable them to just pay up to 30% of their total income on housing. In the wake of COVID-19, it is also likely that the president-elect would the eviction moratorium put in place by the Trump administration. President-elect Biden has also "pledged to increase the housing supply by putting $100 billion toward constructing and upgrading affordable housing," which would help bring relief to a struggling entry-level housing market.

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