President Joe Biden has unveiled new measures to make rent more affordable for tenants nationwide.
On Wednesday, after months of pleas to address the outrageous housing costs that have left thousands of Americans strained, the Biden administration has finally come up with several new actions to offer tenants some relief. One of which is a “Blueprint for a Renter’s Bill of Rights,” a set of guidelines that walks renters through how to obtain and keep affordable housing. Another initiative is the “Resident-Centered Housing Challenge,” which asks local governments to re-examine their policies to meet the needs of renters.
This campaign’s most encouraging aspect is Biden’s directive to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to look at restrictions on rent increases. In many cities, rent increase limits are in place. However, there has never been a federal restriction on housing costs. Democratic lawmakers are requesting that the president take this probe a step further by commanding the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create new regulations defining excessive rent hikes and enforcing action against rent gouging.
Just two weeks ago, Representative Jamaal Bowman and Senator Elizabeth Warren rallied fellow lawmakers to sign a letter addressed to the president. In that draft, they pleaded with the administration to “pursue all possible strategies” to make rent affordable again.
Though Biden’s response is a step in the right direction, some legislators believe Biden should take a more aggressive approach in assisting those struggling with the soaring costs.
“We need actions that will urgently address skyrocketing housing costs, keep people housed, and rein in corporate profiteering,” Bowman said in a statement.
According to the most recent data from the Rent Report, rent prices increased 7.45% year over year in November.