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Biden admin moves to boost housing availability by converting vacant offices

Housing costs surged 7.2% annually as of August.

Published: October 27, 2023 7:35pm

The Biden administration on Friday announced a plan to address rising housing costs by working to convert vacant commercial buildings into residential units.

To that end, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will release guidance on use of the Community Development Block Grant fund, while the Department of Transportation will offer guidance to transfer unnecessary facilities for conversion to housing, The Hill reported.

The multi-agency approach comes as Americans increasingly have to move further out of metropolitan areas to afford housing, prompting logistical issues commuting. One college post-grad went viral this week in a video highlighting the mounting time and financial constraints of living and working in a major city.

Housing costs surged 7.2% annually as of August, according to the Associated Press. Conversely, office space vacancies are at a 30-year high, the administration says, prompting the plan to convert unused space into new housing.

"Housing affordability is a challenge for many American households, so the president has asked us to take a whole-of-government approach to making sure that we have affordable and accessible housing," said National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard. 

As of Friday, the average 30-year mortgage rate stood at 7.795%, according to NerdWallet. That figure remains closely tied to interest rates and Federal Reserve rate hikes to tackle inflation have managed to keep the cost of financing high.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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