Biden Is Skirting Around Congress to Provide Denser Housing and More Public Transportation in American Municipalities

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    Quartz shared a report about President Joe Biden's efforts to push his transportation and housing agenda as a positive step that includes bypassing the legislative process. After the centrists in Congress voted down the Build Back Better legislation aimed at addressing affordability in housing, Biden is now finding solutions to the issue without the help of Congress. Biden is proposing to expand federal funding for affordable housing and also to provide additional grants from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to municipalities that have passed more dense zoning laws. He would also like to see more housing constructed with manufactured components instead of being constructed in local areas.

    In the spring of this year, Biden's DOT gave three grants of about $6 billion to communities that promoted density by implementing better land-use policies. The more dense housing does not only fit more homes in the same area. By combining transportation funds with affordable-housing requirements, the government can ensure that new transportation lines will be designed for those who will most benefit from them, according to Yonah Freemark, a research scientist with the Urban Institute, a D.C. think group.

    The article explains that other presidents have also employed incentive programs to affect housing policy as well as to alter regulations on zoning at the state level. However, Biden's proposal, if it is implemented, would involve the biggest portion of federal funds earmarked in order to “encourage denser zoning.”

    Certain states are pursuing their own plans to create more housing units by adding them to single-family homes, such as California. In 2021, California adopted a law allowing two-unit homes on single-family home lots.

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