As Prepared For Delivery:

Thank you, Lael, for your remarks and for your leadership on this critical issue.

Good afternoon, everyone.

Since Day One of this Administration, strengthening our housing market has been a day one priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. Why is that?

America has a housing shortage that has been building for decades. We simply have not built enough housing to keep up with demand.

We are only going to fix the housing market by increasing housing supply. That means creating new buildings. That means rehabbing old ones. That means converting properties into housing. And that means creating more affordable housing.

Last May, the President announced his Housing Supply Action Plan. It represents the most comprehensive effort to close our housing supply shortfall in history.

At the same time, the President is taking action to lower energy costs and tackle the climate crisis.

And communities are seeking new opportunities to cut climate pollution, especially from existing buildings and transportation.

This summer, we announced that the White House would lead a new working group to support the conversion of commercial properties to housing through federal funding.

In addition, we announced that we would leverage climate-focused federal resources to create zero emissions and affordable units. 

We are excited to report back with a set of actions that does both of these things: accelerate conversions and reduce building emissions.

I’d like to highlight three actions we’re taking today:

First, we’re releasing a new guide highlighting 23 federal programs that can be used to finance conversions.

The guide spells out how federal funding can be used to increase affordability and reduce building climate emissions.

Second, the General Services Administration (GSA) is expanding efforts to promote the sale of surplus federal properties that buyers could potentially redevelop for residential use.

To support this initiative, GSA will work with the Office of Management and Budget to identify current and upcoming sale opportunities, maintain a public list of current opportunities, and market resources available to support housing development and conversions.

Finally, there are several programs under the Inflation Reduction Act that provide really meaningful subsidies for housing conversions that are zero-emission.

This includes, for example, the Department of the Treasury’s new energy efficient home tax credit, which offers up to $5,000 per new or substantially reconstructed dwelling that meets certain clean energy certifications.

America has a long way to go to address our housing shortage and the important challenges of housing affordability and homelessness. Altogether, these actions bolster the Biden-Harris Administration’s crucial efforts to shore up supply, increase affordability, and address America’s housing shortfall, while tackling the climate crisis.

I’ll let my colleagues go into greater detail on these and other actions. With that said, I am excited to now turn it over to Secretary Buttigieg, who is a champion for vibrant communities throughout our country. Thank you for your leadership to shed light on the critical links between transit, access, and housing.  

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