Biden’s Broad Stimulus Package Will Help Housing

While NAHB supports bipartisan efforts to to reach an agreement on a coronavirus relief package, the association believes President Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan offers a better path forward to boost the housing sector and economy than the $618 billion Republican alternative put forth by 10 U.S. senators. The White House has also expressed a willingness to continue talks with NAHB regarding lumber price and supply issues.

NAHB has held preliminary talks with the Biden administration regarding stimulus efforts and we are actively engaged in efforts to urge all our members to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccines become available in their local communities. Getting more employees, employers and citizens vaccinated as quickly as possible will make it safer for workers on their jobsites and help to quicken the economic recovery.

While both the Biden and Republican plans offer identical amounts for direct pandemic response ($160 billion) and small business relief ($50 billion), the GOP blueprint provides no funding for rental assistance.

By contrast, Biden would provide an additional $25 billion in rental assistance on top of the $25 billion that Congress approved in December. The plan also calls for $5 billion to help people cover home energy and water costs and provides $5 billion to states and localities to offer emergency housing for families facing homelessness.

The Republican proposal offers no funding for state and local governments while Biden is pushing for $350 billion in funding plus $20 billion for public transit systems. States and cities facing serious budget shortfalls warn they’ll be forced to make deep cuts to public health, safety and education programs without more funding. Additional funding will enable state and local governments to avoid layoffs of police, teachers and firefighters and discourage local jurisdictions from increasing impact fees and other construction fees that harm housing affordability.

NAHB is urging Congress to work closely with the White House to quickly pass the relief package.

On Lumber, Open to Talks

On an issue of top concern to builders, NAHB sent a letter to President Biden on Jan. 29 explaining how rising lumber prices are threatening the housing sector and overall economy.

“We respectfully request that you reach out to domestic lumber producers to urge them to increase lumber production to address these shortages and to ask the Department of Commerce to investigate why production remains at such low levels during this period of high demand,” the letter stated. “Additionally, returning to the negotiating table with Canada to achieve a new softwood lumber agreement with our northern neighbor and end tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. would be a significant step forward. Such a multi-pronged approach would help ease market concerns for builders and consumers alike.”

With the administration just two weeks in, the White House informed NAHB that several agencies are still in the process of staffing up and getting up to speed, but that the administration is open to continue discussions moving forward. NAHB will continue to aggressively reach out and work with the administration on this issue.

On Capitol Hill, with both the House and Senate in the process of organizing committee assignments, our focus will be to educate members of Congress on the importance of the lumber issue.

View NAHB’s lumber letter to President Biden.

 

 

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Comments (12)

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  1. The new guy seems to be doing okay regarding the industry.

    • David Koster says:

      What policy from the new guy do you find favorable to “housing” ? I don’t see anything but pain for small and medium sized builders with higher energy cost and interest rates from an inflated monetary policy.

  2. Kenneth De La Garza says:

    Being the owner of a small construction company here in the West Texas Permian Basin area, framing lumber package cost has played a big role in new home builds and all areas of construction.
    The demand for new construction is slowly showing a positive increase, yet, lumber has always been a significant line item in my build cost that has been a big “game changer” in selling homes here.
    Hoping and praying that Congress sees the economic impact and that this issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
    Have a blessed 2021 and may God continue to guide us and protect the United States of America!
    👍🏽✌🏽

  3. David Koster says:

    So the plan that gives the most money to irresponsible and corrupt state and local governments is the plan we endorse. I am not a Trump or rabid Republican supporter, but I have never been more embarrassed by NAHB than now. Here’s the real issue – we have members on many sides of many issues including those that own rental property. I get it. That said, you don’t have to choose the absolute choice of one plan over the other. Both are bad in so many ways. There are parts of each that have merit. How about we analyze that and have an informed opinion before we endorse throwing another 1.9 Trillion dollars onto our children and their future obligations.

  4. State and local governments that made responsible fiscal decisions during the pandemic stand in stark contrast to those that did not. Now, the less responsible are looking for a bail-out. Where’s the money coming from? From those who were more responsible. At what point do the parents step in and hold the kids responsible for their bad decisions and unwillingness to make tough choices. It’s hard to see how the housing industry is helped by supporting policies that unnecessarily increase the national debt. At some point, the bill comes due, interest rates increase significantly, and housing gets hammered. Is NAHB encouraging short term benefits at the expense of the long-term stability of our industry?

  5. Gary W Allen says:

    While I can agree that some stimulus is needed, I disagree with the size and scope of the “relief” package on many levels. The direct relief to households and has been, at best, poorly vetted. There are MANY receiving relief that do not need additional money.

    Many of the cities and states facing short falls were facing short falls well before the pandemic. They are seeking a bail out and much of it stems directly to spending money that they did not have. The United States cannot be an enabler of such poor decisions. These cities, states and municipalities need to begin to get their finances in order BEFORE we yet again fund their poor decisions.

  6. Jason Hassenstab says:

    This is surprisingly off base for NAHB. They haven’t spent all the money in the CARES Act and you think the government will properly manage $1.9 trillion more? We don’t need to print more money, we need to get everyone back to work.

  7. DEREK FOWLER says:

    With a national debt of 27.75 trillion and over 100 trillion in liabilities, debts and unfunded liabilities why would anyone be for adding 2 trillion more? This averages to over $800,000.00 debt per house hold. I can only imagine where my business would be if I ran it like our government runs our country. Shame on NAHB for supporting such carelessness.

  8. It is with a complete lack of foresight that have endorsed the nearly $2 trillion spending and debt stimulus bill in Congress. It is wasteful and rewards irresponsible actions by some of the state and city governments. It burdens future generations with massive debt and hyperinflation. Just wait until the Federal government starts printing money to pay for this then pricing more more than wood and rents will rocket out of control.

  9. NAHB Now says:

    NAHB appreciates the lively debate among our members regarding the Biden COVID-19 relief package. We recognize that this bill is far from perfect, but an economic stimulus package is desperately needed. Millions of Americans remain underemployed or unemployed, millions of small businesses still require economic relief and millions of mom and pop landlords have not been receiving rent payments for months, threatening their economic livelihoods. Additional aid for small businesses, rental assistance, school reopenings, nationwide coronavirus vaccine delivery, and aid to state and local governments are critical to help many of our members and the economy.

    On that latter point, if state and local governments are forced to engage in massive layoffs of police, teachers, firefighters and other critical workers, the repercussions will be to hurt local housing markets and encourage localities to drastically raise impact fees and other construction fees in a bid to desperately raise revenue. NAHB continues to urge the Biden administration to proceed in a thoughtful manner and to jettison any extraneous provisions to the stimulus package that are not related specifically to COVID-19 economic relief. Any moves to avoid excessive deficit spending could help prevent long-term damage to the economy.

    • Jason Hassenstab says:

      If our state and local governments are required to downsize, that will reduce the size of the government. That is a good thing. As previously mentioned, our government has NOT yet spent the CARES act money. There is no need for additional stimulus until those funds have been exhausted. NAHB needs to push the Biden administration to get everyone back to work, NOT print money. Low unemployment is the great tool to a functioning and healthy society. Additionally, you mention the potential layoffs of teachers. The teachers unions are refusing to go back to work anyways . . . let’s cut the money off too and starting paying teachers that are willing to do their jobs. There are plenty of great teachers out there that are more than willing to get back to the classrooms. Based on the comments regarding the NAHB’s endorsement of the Biden stimulus plan, it’s obvious you are not representing your members correctly, nor properly evaluating what this plan means for our future generations.

    • David Koster says:

      I appreciate the difficult position NAHB is in. That said, we appear to have taken a position that I cannot accept. I believe that most of the Nahb membership is in favor of targeted help to those most severely impacted by the Covid epidemic. But although there is some of that in this proposed bill, it is hard to find it in the details. It’s chocked full of special interests provisions and political agenda’s. This bill is the worst of the Washington “sausage making” process and we should stand against it. At the very least we should be neutral. But PC phrases like “urge the Biden administration to proceed in a thoughtful manner to jettison any extraneous provisions” is gobbledygook and we all know it. And that is a disservice to our members as well as America. Why is it so hard to stand up for reasonable legislation and clearly oppose that which is not?

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