On November 15, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—aka the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package (BIF) —was signed into law by President Biden. The enactment of Public Law 117-58 (H.R. 3684) marks one of the largest infrastructure investments in decades and provides funding for an array of infrastructure provisions. Among the many included provisions are those to support roads and bridges, electric vehicles, broadband and clean water.
Investments in the nation’s infrastructure—such as water and sewar systems, transportation and roads—make for better communities and could help to lower housing affordability costs. The multifamily industry is often asked to cover the cost of our crumbling infrastructure, which adds to the cost of development and preservation of affordable housing. While there is no specific housing related funds in this package, we see this investment in our nation’s infrastructure as critical to the overall health of the multifamily industry.
As reported previously, lawmakers in Washington have worked for months to get two infrastructure packages across the finish line: the recently passed BIF package and the Build Back Better (BBB) package. The latter would set aside $1.85 trillion for “human” infrastructure provisions and the former provides $1.2 trillion in “traditional” infrastructure funding.
NMHC has long advocated that as policymakers debate the merits of a large-scale national infrastructure initiative, the inclusion of solutions to address the nation’s most pressing housing challenges must also be included. Infrastructure and housing are linked in significant ways. Both the existing building supply and new apartment development are directly dependent on the condition and availability of suitable transportation options, reliable water and utility infrastructure and broadband and telecommunications services. As such, NMHC applauded Congress and the Administration upon passage of the BIF package via a press release.
Although there is much work to be done, our industry will certainly benefit from a number of included provisions. Use the drop down features below to review the key provisions included in BIF that would impact the multifamily industry.
The newly passed law contains $7.5B to build out the currently fragmented ‘system’ of EV charging stations. At present, some states—like California—have a lot and other states—like South Dakota—have none. The money in the infrastructure bill will help address the need for public charging stations. Incentives for private property owners to build out charging facilities mainly come through the expansion of Section 30 included in the not-yet-passed Build Back Better package.
The BIF contains $73 billion for grid resiliency, which is consequential to property owners and operators. Moving the mix of fuel sources towards renewables away from carbon intensive fuel sources is also a spending priority in the BIF.
BIF contains $105 billion to address drinking water quality by replacing deteriorating lead service lines found in cities across America. It also includes funds to clean up legacy pollution in communities that have suffered disparate impact from pollution with the inclusion of $21B in spending. These funds will go a long way to helping to improve the quality of life for Americans whose health is impacted as a consequence of where they live. A portion of this money will also be used to create good paying jobs in these communities.
- $42.5 billion for the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD), which creates a program to be overseen by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and which will direct funding to the states for broadband deployments, adoption programs and other broadband programs. Each state will get at least $100 million, with more going to states with a high level of unserved locations.
- $14.2 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which will be overseen by the FCC and will provide $30 a month toward the cost of broadband for low-income and other in-need households. The program is designed to essentially extend the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, with modifications.
- $2.75 billion Digital Equity Program, a broadband adoption and literacy program.
- $2 billion in additional funding for the USDA Rural Utilities Service ReConnect program.
- $2 billion in additional funding for the Tribal Broadband Program administered by NTIA
- $1 billion for a new middle-mile program to be overseen by NTIA
- $.6 billion for tax exempt private activity bonds, which state and local governments can use to support broadband deployments
BIF includes $65 billion to boost “competition in areas where existing providers aren’t providing adequate service.” Overall, these funds are focused on deployment and subsidy. Both of which are good for underserved areas and low-income residents. Specifically, the funds will be broken up in the following ways:
BIF allocates $110 billion on roads, bridges and other significant “hard” infrastructure projects—including $40 billion for bridge repairs and replacement. The package also calls for an additional $39 billion to modernize public transit and $66 billion for Amtrak maintenance and upgrades.
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