Biden Proposes Tax Credits and the Elimination of Title Insurance Fees

Joe Biden

In Thursday evening’s 2024 State of the Union Address, President Joe Biden touched upon the topic of housing in his hour-plus speech. 

Biden stated that he wants to create a temporary, two-year tax credit that will give homeowners $400 a month to put towards their mortgages when they buy a first home or trade their home in for one with a little more, or less, space as their needs change. 

The Commander in Chief also announced he is directing federal agencies to eliminate title insurance fee requirements for federally backed refinance loans. He stated this move alone will save the average homeowner $1,000 or more in refinancing fees.

He also touched on the current blight of renters against big corporate landlords by enforcing antitrust laws to battle perceived price-fixing schemes in the market perpetrated by the large-scale adoption of rental software from a handful of providers. 

He is also “cutting the red tape” so builders can get more federal financing, which, according to him, is already helping build a record 1.7 million dwellings nationwide. 

He then called upon Congress to make his housing plan a law that will build and renovate two million affordable homes, which should also bring down rental prices for those that do not own a home.

“The lack of affordable housing supply is hurting the middle class and depriving first-generation and first-time homebuyers of the financial security that homeownership and the American Dream provide,” said National Associaition of Realtors (NAR) President Kevin Sears. “NAR first sounded the alarm on this issue with original research showing a nationwide shortage of 5.5 million affordable housing units. We commend President Biden’s commitment to an all-of-government approach to solve this problem. NAR has proposed and advocated for many of these proposals, which together would make serious headway toward fixing this crisis.Tax incentives can help close the affordable housing gap, and we are especially grateful for the President’s willingness to explore new tax measures. NAR also supports an all-of-the-above approach to this crisis–from tax incentives to zoning reforms to expanded financing.”

President Biden announced actions to lower costs and promote housing stability for renters. The White House Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights lays out the key principles of a fair rental market and has already catalyzed new federal actions to make those principles a reality. President Biden is also announcing additional steps to crack down on unfair practices that are driving up rental costs:

Fighting Rent Gouging by Corporate Landlords: The Biden Administration is taking action to combat egregious rent increases and other unfair practices that are driving up rents. Corporate landlords and private equity firms across the country have been accused of illegal information sharing, price fixing, and inflating rents. As part of the Strike Force on Unfair and Illegal Pricing announced by President Biden on Tuesday, the President is calling on federal agencies to root out and stop illegal corporate behavior that hikes the prices on American families through anti-competitive, unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business practices.

Cracking Down on Rental Junk Fees: Millions of families incur burdensome costs in the rental application process and throughout the duration of their lease, from “convenience fees” simply to pay rent online to fees charged to sort mail or collect trash. These fees are often more than the actual cost of providing the service, or are added onto rents to cover services that renters assume are included—or that they don’t even want. Last fall, the FTC proposed a rule that if finalized as proposed would ban misleading and hidden fees across the economy, including in housing rental agreements. Last month, HUD released a summary of banned non-rent fees within their rental assistance programs. These actions build on commitments the President announced last summer from major rental housing platforms to provide customers with the total, upfront cost on rental properties on their platform.

Expanding Housing Choice Vouchers: Over the last three years, the Biden Administration has secured rental assistance for more than 100,000 additional households. The President is calling on Congress to further expand rental assistance to more than half of a million households, including by providing a voucher guarantee for low-income veterans and youth aging out of foster care–the first such voucher guarantees in history. Receiving a voucher would save these households hundreds of dollars in rent monthly.

Just last week, the Biden Administration released details on how it plans to build more housing and lower housing costs nationwide through a series of initiatives, including: Bolstering federal programs with a track-record of producing affordable housing; boosting the supply and affordability of manufactured homes; and the promotion of a more fair and transparent rental market.

The Biden Administration’s actions fulfill and build upon the dozens of commitments in the White House Housing Supply Action Plan released last May, and the Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights, released in January 2023. The Administration recognized that additional actions were necessary to lower housing costs and have called on Congress to make the investments necessary to ensure access to quality and affordable housing for all Americans.

“By announcing several proposals to enable more families to achieve homeownership or have access to suitable rental housing, the president has made it clear that housing is an urgent national priority,” said Carl Harris, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “NAHB looks forward to working with the administration and Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress to help in this effort by eliminating excessive regulations; opposing restrictive, costly national energy code proposals that will raise housing costs while providing little energy savings to consumers; promoting careers in the skilled trades; and alleviating permitting roadblocks. These common-sense solutions will bend the housing cost curve, reduce housing inflation and the overall inflation rate, enable builders to boost attainable housing production and put the economy on a firmer footing.”

Click here for the full State of the Union Address, and click here to fast-forward to his housing-specific remarks. 

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Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for MortgagePoint. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at
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