Amid all the tumult of the recent impeachment hearings and the buzz of the primary elections, House Democrats outlined a $760 billion plan to fund infrastructure projects over the next five years. In addition to calling for increased investment in roads, transit lines, and water resources, the Moving America and the Environment Forward framework seeks to expand the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC), New Markets Tax Credit, and the historic rehabilitation credit. Housing advocates have long been saying that a safe, affordable place to live is infrastructure.
This early framework—a formal bill had yet to be introduced at press time and details were scarce—comes two years after President Donald Trump’s big infrastructure proposal flamed out. There’s little common ground in Washington these days, but it seems both Republicans and Democrats would have a mutual interest in fixing roads, building housing, and scoring a legislative victory this year.
Stat of the month: There were 1,508,265 homeless students in public schools during the 2017-18 school year, reports the National Center for Homeless Education. That’s a stunning 15% spike between 2015 and 2018. What’s more, the situation is likely even worse because the number only includes those children enrolled in public school districts or local education agencies. Also, the number doesn’t capture those kids who are homeless during the summer or who dropped out of school.
Bright idea of the month: In order to not leave you too depressed, I’ll end with some positive news. California has taken key steps to turn its surplus land into affordable housing. One such vacant parcel will be used to bring a prefab modular multifamily development to Stockton, and the state has identified other excess land for developers to build affordable housing. Every bit helps.