On July 19, 2022, Matt Allman was quoted in Law360 on plans outlined by the White House in a pair of spring announcements that rely on multiple current and new mechanisms to disburse federal dollars to incentivize states, localities, and developers to make up an estimated gap of 1.5 million homes across the country, pricing them at levels accessible to low- and moderate-income Americans.
According to the article, the White House paired the move to enhance the nation's affordable housing supply with its effort to spur communities across the nation toward adopting the latest building codes and better shielding residential properties from extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. The Biden administration estimates that two-thirds of communities nationwide aren't up to date on the latest building codes. Such tighter standards are expected to increase building costs in the short term, though they have the potential of drastically cutting utilities and maintenance bills over the long run.
Whether discussions will move in the direction the administration wants them to or further rally opposition to new construction is a lingering question. Ultimately, sources agreed that the devil is in the details, and the White House's success will largely depend on the technicalities and timeline of implementation, as well as, if not primarily, on its reception at the local level.
"I'm sure that there will be a range of reactions across the country where some jurisdictions very eagerly take advantage of these incentives and, as a result, land use and zoning regulations or building code regulations change and some may not be interested," said Allman. "Only time is going to tell how that's going to shake out."
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