Latest Build Back Better Package Retains Commitment to Unlocking Possibilities Program

November 4, 2021 | Up for Growth Action
Reading time: 3 minutes min

WASHINGTON, DC – Up for Growth Action today applauded the inclusion of the Unlocking Possibilities program in the latest version of the Build Back Better reconciliation bill released by the House Rules Committee this week. Outlined in Section 40103 of the Fiscal year 2022 budget reconciliation package, the provision provides $1.75 billion in competitive grants to states, local governments, and Native American tribes to improve and implement housing plans and strategies.

“This vital program will strengthen the ability of state and local communities to address the nation’s housing shortage and affordability crisis. It offers a high return on investment, a targeted local approach, and provisions to ensure policy impact, transparency, and effective oversight,” said Up for Growth Action CEO Mike Kingsella. “The legislation that inspired this provision also enjoys bipartisan support in Congress and is backed by over 140 organizations nationwide working to restore access, equity, and sustainability to their communities’ approach to housing.”

Based on H.R. 2126, the Housing Supply and Affordability Act, Section 40103 creates a new competitive grant program through HUD that will provide communities with resources to develop housing needs assessments and design and implement policies to eliminate exclusionary zoning and artificial barriers to boost production of needed homes, particularly in areas where the most significant imbalances exist between the number of jobs and the amount of available housing. It will spur regional planning and collaboration in multi-jurisdictional coalitions and prioritize funding for communities with existing public transportation options.

Up for Growth research found that America fell 7.3 million homes short of meeting housing needs from 2000 – 2015, a shortage that continues to grow due to exclusionary zoning and artificial barriers. During recent negotiations when housing programs appeared threatened by reconciliation bill cuts, Up for Growth Action released a letter signed by 16 major pro-housing groups urging Congressional leaders to preserve the Unlocking Possibilities Program.

“We are proud that our voices were heard and that policymakers have reaffirmed their commitment to more inclusive, equitable, and affordable housing,” said Kingsella. “The Unlocking Possibilities program is critical to equipping our communities with the resources they need to create livable neighborhoods and build more affordable housing in high-opportunity areas where American families can live, work, learn and thrive.”

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Up for Growth Action® is a 501(c)(4) federal legislative advocacy organization that advocates for policies to achieve housing equity, eliminate systemic barriers, and create more homes. Up for Growth Action is affiliated with Up for Growth®, a 501(c)(3) cross-sector member network committed to solving the housing shortage and affordability crisis through data-driven research and evidence-based policy.