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Project Home: Biden's 'Ambitious' Housing Plan Lauded By Bay Area Advocates

(KPIX 5) – A top priority in the first 100 days of the Biden administration will be a housing plan.

If Congress approves the current proposal, one in every five Californians could receive rental assistance from the federal government.

"This is a day for housing justice, this is a day for health justice, this is a day for racial justice, this is a day for economic justice," Amie Fishman, Executive Director for The Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California said.

"It's a very ambitious plan," Sarah Karlinsky, a Senior Advisor with SPUR said.

Across the state advocates are hopeful.

"The fact that Vice President Harris is from California, from the Bay Area, will be influential," Carol Galante with the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley said.

Galante worked for Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Obama administration. She calls President Biden's $640 billion housing plan, "quite aspirational in my view."

It lays out intentions to end homelessness, give housing vouchers to 17 million at-risk renters, prioritize homeownership for low income and Black and Latino families and change discriminatory housing policies of the past. Addressing racism is mentioned 28 times.

"It really does seem like there is an emphasis on closing the racial wealth gap," Karlinksy said.

Galante said for this to work the execution is more important than the intention.

"We still need more actual housing units, you can't just dump a bunch more money into the system and expect it to get out in equitable and efficient ways," Galante said.

Biden plans to fund the plan by levying a tax on large corporations.

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