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How U.S. cities are using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to tackle housing affordability
Brookings
2024.06.13
Housing affordability remains a central concern for U.S. households. Even as inflation has cooled, interest rates and home borrowing costs have remained high, putting homeownership out of reach for more people and leaving them in an increasingly unaffordable rental market. Surveys have repeatedly demonstrated that American households cite the housing market as a pain point in an economy where most indicators are trending positively.
One important―but perhaps overlooked―source of investment in affordable housing designed to alleviate these pressures has been the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which provided flexible funding to localities and states to support economic recovery. With housing becoming a critical election-year issue, this analysis assesses how the nation’s largest cities and counties (those with populations greater than 250,000) have used SLFRF funds to invest in affordable housing development, rental assistance, and eviction prevention programs.