LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — President Joe Biden will detail a $285 billion budget proposal to help first-time homebuyers and reduce rental costs when he visits Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Nevada’s decisions on how to use $1 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds made Las Vegas the right place to announce the newest effort, administration officials said on Monday. Nevada state and local governments put $700 million of that money into major affordable housing projects.

Biden’s 2025 budget would bring more funding in a variety of programs designed to “give working families a fair shot” and making “an historic expansion in rental assistance for low-income families.” Among Biden’s top priorities is legislation that would fund as many as 2 million affordable homes across the country. By increasing the supply of homes, prices should come down.

Specific points in Biden’s housing programs come in three main areas:

    • Mortgage Relief Credit. Middle-class first-time homebuyers could qualify for a tax credit of $10,000 over two years. The plan also calls for a one-year tax credit of up to $10,000 to middle-class families who sell their starter home, defined as homes below the area median home price in the county, to another owner-occupant.
    • Down Payment Assistance for First-Generation Homeowners. Up to $25,000 in down payment assistance to first-generation homebuyers.
    • Lowering Closing Costs. Reducing closing costs for homeowners, including a pilot to waive the requirement for lender’s title insurance on certain refinances.
    • Promoting Competition in the Housing Market. Last week’s settlement reached by the National Association of Realtors is an example of changes that could save homebuyers thousands of dollars through more choices and lower costs.
    • Tax Credits to Build More Housing. Expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to build or preserve 1.2 million more affordable rental units. Also, a new Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit, the first tax provision to build or renovate affordable homes for homeownership.
    • Innovation Fund for Housing Expansion. A new $20 billion competitive grant fund to support communities across the country to build more housing and lower rents and homebuying costs. It would help pay for construction of affordable multifamily rental units, incentivize removal of unnecessary barriers to housing development, pilot innovative models to increase the production of affordable and workforce rental housing, and spur the construction of new starter homes for middle-class families.
    • Increasing Banks’ Contributions Towards Building Affordable Housing. Pushing banks to double their annual contribution to the Affordable Housing Program, a move that could bring an additional $3.79 billion for affordable housing over the next decade.
    • Bolstering Efforts to Prevent and End Homelessness. The President is calling for $8 billion for a new grant program to rapidly expand temporary and permanent housing strategies for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
    • Fighting Rent Gouging by Corporate Landlords. Rooting out corporate landlords’ illegal practices, including the use of algorithms to set prices and other “anti-competitive, unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business practices.”
    • Cracking Down on Rental Junk Fees. “Convenience fees” and other charges tacked on to rents and rental applications would end — an effort already gaining momentum through the Federal Trade Commission.
    • Expanding Housing Choice Vouchers. Expanding rental assistance by providing a voucher guarantee to low-income veterans and youth again out of foster care.

Biden’s proposed budget has to go through Congress for approval, and there’s no guarantee that any or all of the expenditures outlined here will happen until the final version of the budget comes out.

Bringing rent practices into line could meet some partisan resistance in Congress, just as it did here when Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed a number of tenant protections passed by the Nevada Legislature.

Nevada used ARP funds to provide 500 families with $15,000 in down-payment assistance to buy a home. Also, about 1,000 ARP-supported affordable apartments for seniors are under construction in the Las Vegas valley. Among those: 195 units at Pebble Road and Eastern Avenue and 125 units at Buffalo Drive and Cactus Avenue.

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