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Kaine Joins Bipartisan Push to Boost Affordable Homeownership Opportunities in Underserved Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), a former fair housing attorney, announced his cosponsorship of the bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA), legislation to help Virginians afford home renovations and also encourage more development of affordable homeownership options in underserved communities.

“As a former fair housing attorney, I know the difference access to an affordable, safe home can make in people’s lives,” said Kaine. “But renovation costs can make it difficult for Virginians to make the improvements they need to stay in their homes, and disincentivizes development of much-needed affordable housing in underserved communities. This legislation addresses those costs to help more homeowners invest in their properties, and to create more homeownership opportunities for low- and middle-income families.”

High renovation costs have long kept Virginians and Americans across the country from making investments in their homes. Because the cost of purchasing and renovating homes is often greater than the value of the sale price of the renovated home, builders and homeowners are dissuaded from revitalizing homes in certain areas, despite the need for more affordable housing. In order to revitalize existing homes, as well as ensure current homeowners can stay in their homes, the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act will create a federal tax credit to cover the cost difference between building or renovating a home in eligible areas and cap the price of sales for each home to ensure communities have affordable housing options.

This legislation will specifically target neighborhoods that have poverty rates that are at or below 130% or greater than the metro or state rate; have incomes that are at or below 80% of the area median income; and have home values that are below the metro or state median value. Furthermore, this bill will require that homes constructed or renovated under the program are sold to homeowners making less than 140% of the area median income. This will expand affordable housing options in communities across the Commonwealth.

As a former fair housing attorney, Kaine has long fought to keep Virginians in their homes and expand affordable housing. In February, Kaine reintroduced the Housing Supply and Affordability Act to create a new grant program to fund localities in developing and implementing comprehensive housing policy plans. Earlier this month, Kaine announced over $98 million in federal funding for affordable housing, community development, and homelessness assistance throughout the Commonwealth. In 2022, Kaine reintroduced the Fair Housing Improvement Act, legislation that would prohibit landlords from denying housing to individuals based on their source of income, veteran status, or military status.

Full text of the bill can be found here.