Wyden Proposes New Senate DASH Bill
Everything you need to know about the Senate DASH Bill
August 19, 2021
Late yesterday Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced the DASH for All Act. The Senate DASH Bill stands for Decent, Affordable, Safe Housing and the proposed legislation includes several tax-related proposals and other housing policy changes.
As a nation, we are in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. Americans were experiencing a crisis of housing availability and affordability long before the COVID-19 pandemic swamped our economy, but the pandemic has only widened housing disparities and the racial wealth gap. As housing prices skyrocket and supply remains limited, an increasing number of Americans, particularly first-time buyers, BIPOC and LMI people, are locked out of homeownership.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the United States is suffering a shortage of 6.8 million affordable and available units for the lowest-income renters. Some experts believe that number to be over 7 million units. On top of that, as many as 15 million households in America spend more than 50 percent of their take-home pay on rent each month, putting them at risk of financial ruin with just one emergency or missed paycheck and crushing opportunities to save for a home.
Basic necessities like healthcare and insurance, a car or public transit costs, and food, are incredibly difficult to afford when so much of a household’s paycheck goes toward rent. It’s no wonder saving for a down payment and closing costs continue to be the number one obstacle to homeownership for many households.
- Additional resources for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to increase production of affordable rental housing
- Creating a Middle-Income Housing Tax Credit aimed at increasing rental workforce housing
- Expanding health, child-care, financial and nutrition services for families and individuals to stay on a path to unassisted housing stability
- Incentivizing environmentally friendly development strategies and land use policies.
- Establishing a permanent and refundable tax credit and down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers.
- Would prohibit discrimination based on a tenant’s lawful source of income, which would require landlords to accept Section 8 housing choice vouchers.
Affordable housing, specifically affordable homeownership, is a critical component of making the American Dream accessible to all. Stable housing and homeownership create pathways to self-sufficiency, an opportunity to build wealth, and bolsters community and economic growth. So much more is possible when people are invested in a home.
“The Problem.” National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Low Income Housing Coalition, 2021, nlihc.org/explore-issues/why-we-care/problem.
Rosen, Kenneth T., et al. “Housing Is Critical Infrastructure: Social and Economic Benefits of Building More Housing.” National Association of Realtors, Rosen Consulting Group, 16 June 2021, www.nar.realtor/political-advocacy/housing-is-critical-infrastructure.
“Wyden Announces New Bill to End Homelessness and Ensure Affordable Housing for All: The United States Senate Committee on Finance.” United States Senate Committee on Finance, 18 Aug. 2021, 11:31 am, www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/wyden-announces-new-bill-to-end-homelessness-and-ensure-affordable-housing-for-all.