Congress’ Spending Bill Has Some Housing Wins

Congress passed a bill that keeps government running through the fiscal year. It also extends flood insurance to Sept. 30 and adds $85M to boost fair housing.

WASHINGTON – Congress passed a long-awaited bill late Thursday night to fund the government through the remainder of the fiscal year, sending it to President Joe Biden for his signature.

The $1.5 trillion bipartisan package keeps the government running through Sept. 30 and includes money for priorities the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) supports, such as housing programs, rural broadband and surface transportation projects. The bill also reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Since last October, the government has relied on a series of short-term funding extensions while Congress worked toward a long-term deal. Some highlights of NAR priorities in the bill include:

  • Flood insurance: Extends the NFIP through Sept. 30 and provides significant funding for communities to respond to and mitigate the impacts of future disasters, with $276 million for flood mapping.
  • Broadband: Includes more than $550 million to expand rural broadband services on top of broadband funding included in the American Rescue Plan and bipartisan infrastructure bill last year.
  • Fair housing: Contains $85 million for fair housing activities, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program, Fair Housing Assistance Program, and National Fair Housing Training Academy.
  • Violence Against Women Act: Reauthorizes this legislation and establishes the Violence Prevention Office at HUD. NAR was part of the original group of housing industry supporters that helped craft the housing provisions of the bill.
  • Transportation: Provides the remaining funding to implement programs and spending in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, which passed in November.

NAR’s policy team continues to analyze the 2,700-page bill and says it will offer further insight in the coming days.

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