Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Dan Kildee (D-MI-5), Darin LaHood (R-IL-18), and Mike Kelly (R-PA-16) have introduced the REHAB Act in the U.S. House (HR 6175). This legislation, if passed, will help spur private investment in affordable housing and public infrastructure in the places where it’s needed most: walkable, transit-connected places.
We know that a lot of people want to live in walkable areas but there just simply isn’t enough supply to make that possible. Today, new development is dramatically skewed towards sprawling suburbs on the fringes of town far from jobs and affordable transportation.
But a new bill in Congress will boost infill and redevelopment in cities and towns across the country to help create more housing and economic growth in walkable, transit-connected areas.
Introducing the REHAB Act.
The REHAB Act—Revitalizing Economies, Housing, And Businesses Act—is a bipartisan bill that would create a federal tax credit to support redeveloping old (but non-historic) buildings near public transportation. Projects that provide new units of affordable housing or invest in public infrastructure—like better bus stops, new street lighting, sidewalks, bike lanes, rain gardens, street repaving—get a bigger tax credit. It’s a simple, straightforward way to help encourage new housing and businesses in the downtowns and other walkable areas where people want to be.
Our research has shown that demand for walkable communities is far outstripping the supply, ironically making what little housing gets built hard to afford in the very places that have the most affordable transportation costs and best access to jobs and services.
The REHAB Act is one effort to correct this imbalance by supporting attainable housing, mixed-use development, and space for businesses in the many walkable areas—or places with the potential to be more walkable—that already exist in all across the U.S. This legislation can help provide the financing to local builders that is critical to closing the gap so they can help revitalize downtowns, upgrade deteriorating public infrastructure, and expand access to attainable housing.
We need this legislation to help support smart growth and it is the culmination of years of work for Smart Growth America. Send a message about the REHAB Act to your representative.