With Community Housing Act, Balint introduces sweeping new housing legislation to Congress

U.S. Rep. Becca Balint, D-Vt., is set to introduce her first major piece of legislation of her first term: the Community Housing Act (CHA).

She outlined the plan on Feb. 12 at the Bellows Falls Garage, an apartment complex run by Windham & Windsor Housing Trust.

According to a news release, the CHA calls for investing more than $500 billion in federal programs that fund the construction of affordable and deeply affordable housing.

The housing trust model is a major element of Balint's bill.

"The CHA embraces perpetually affordable housing through a community land trust, which means a nonprofit organization of residents that jointly stewards community assets, guaranteeing that housing on that land stays affordable and inclusive," the release stated.

Balint said the bill includes a suite of creative policy solutions to address root causes of the housing crisis and alleviate long-term affordability challenges.

"The Community Housing Act is designed to tackle some of the biggest barriers to addressing our housing crisis, here in Vermont and across the country," Balint said. "CHA offers creative solutions and big, bold investments. Hundreds of billions of dollars in housing investments. Because that's what's needed. So many Vermont families face the crushing burden of the housing crisis."

Balint said that the U.S. needs "real policy solutions to alleviate the national housing crisis by encouraging the creation of more affordable, community-based housing. I'm grateful for the partnerships in Vermont and across the country for their support and I look forward to our work together to alleviate this burden on working families everywhere."

"This bill comes at a time when Vermonters are facing incredible hardship due to the lack of housing," said Elizabeth Bridgewater, executive director of Windham & Windsor Housing Trust. "Bold investments in perpetually affordable homes directly addresses the need for new homes right now and ensures that future generations of Vermonters will continue to benefit from these investments."

The CHA addresses the housing crisis by increasing the supply of affordable housing, ensuring that affordable housing stays affordable for the long run, giving renters the support they need to stay in their homes, encouraging revamping zoning codes to eliminate barriers to more affordable housing construction, giving antitrust enforcers the information they need to prosecute digital price fixing by landlords, strengthening and preserving pathways to homeownership, and supporting affordable homes and apartments for rural residents.

The bill is co-led by chair of the Congressional Renters Caucus, Jimmy Gomez, D-California.

The full text of the Community Housing Act can be found at

This News item was submitted to The Commons.

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