President Biden’s Policy Updates to Rental Assistance

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President Biden’s plan for rental assistance revolves around eliminating discriminatory practices in the housing industry by expanding funding and through legislation. In other words, President Biden’s plan is to make sure you receive a fair price on housing and that no one will be discriminated because of race, religion, ethnicity or income status.

His plan also includes adding funding to the Section 8 voucher program, to ensure that every person that qualifies will get housing assistance, along with a plan for providing Covid-19 vaccinations.

That alone is a huge step and a big relief for millions of families suffering from homelessness or the fear of being evicted, not to mention the fear of contracting the virus. Before, approximately 11 million people were left on waiting lists, not receiving assistance, because the funding for Section 8 wasn’t enough.

That means that only 17% of low-income renters received housing vouchers. So, long story short, this plan will mean that less people are sleeping on the streets and more people will have a place to call home.

President Biden’s Covid-19 Relief Plan

On Thursday, January 14th, President Biden released a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 Relief Plan that will be distributed in various ways and will include granting an extension on foreclosure moratoriums and evictions. Starting off, the plan will be providing eligible individuals with $1,400 stimulus check and an additional $400 for individuals who receive unemployment benefits.

To help low to moderate income families, $25 billion will be provided for rental relief. Biden’s plan extends the date until September 30 for forbearance on federally guaranteed mortgages.

His plan also includes launching a National Vaccination program that will aim to provide 100 million vaccinations during his first 100 days in office. The goal is to put safety measures in place so we are able to reopen businesses and schools safely and keep the risks of further spread as low as possible in such a challenging time.

Will President Biden’s Stimulus Check Affect My Section 8 Housing Voucher?

No, it won’t! Fortunately, like the previous stimulus check granted by the Trump administration, this round of stimulus checks will not affect your section 8 housing because it won’t be calculated as income. President Biden added enhanced unemployment insurance assistance as well, which shouldn’t be calculated as income either.

Neither of these checks are calculated as income because they’re not checks you will continue to receive regularly. If you are receiving regular checks for unemployment, those must always be calculated in your income.

How will President Biden Get Section 8 Availability to Increase?

If you have ever participated in the Section 8 Voucher program, you know the waiting lists for Section 8 are very long and people must wait years to be eligible and find a home. This is due to the shortage of funding available to the program in comparison to the large amount of low-income families.

Once all the slots the funding offers are filled, a waiting list is created, and this is where the long wait begins. President Biden’s plan to change this problem is to make Section 8 an entitlement, meaning it will be available to everyone that qualifies! His plan will grant $65 billion dollars to the Indian Housing Block Grant program and state housing authorities to help restore or rebuild homes for areas of low income.

Communities that are willing to implement new zoning laws, encouraging affordable housing, and are suffering from affordability prices will receive this funding, in hopes of making many more homes available for families or individuals in need of assistance.

Another part of this plan is to eliminate regulations that perpetuate discrimination, both local and state. One way he will do this is by incorporating inclusionary zoning, which means that a portion of any new construction, or a certain percentage of units, will be set aside for affordable housing.

He also plans to put a stop to “redlining”, which is when people are denied services or get charged more money for the same services, due to their race, ethnicity or religion. All in all, President Biden’s plan seems to be focused on helping people with low to moderate income find a place to live, without the worries of not having enough money to pay for rent. Biden’s new policies are intended to decrease fear of being discriminated, while also giving us some much needed extra cash to help out during such a hard time for all of us.