Under pressure to address the nation's soaring housing costs, the Biden administration on Wednesday announced significant new actions to protect tenants and make renting more affordable.
The announcement involves multiple federal agencies that will gather information on unfair housing practices. It also includes a "Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights" that, while not binding, sets clear guidelines to help renters stay in affordable housing. The White House is also launching a call to action, dubbed the "Resident-centered Housing Challenge," that aims to get housing providers as well as state and local governments to strengthen policies in their own markets.
After months of deliberation, the moves come as the housing market continues to pose a serious problem for people who do not own their homes — and for the economy overall. While inflation has fallen for the past six months, average rental prices have continued to increase rapidly, disproportionately hurting vulnerable households that spend the bulk of their budgets on rent. Meanwhile, the country is stuck in a massive housing shortfall, complicating efforts to lower costs or simply find enough places for the 44 million American renter households to go.
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