On Wednesday, President Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, and Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman to serve in the office.
In his inaugural address, Biden pledged his commitment to bringing all Americans together and to democracy.
“Hear me out as we move forward,” he said. “Take a piece of my heart. If you still disagree that’s ok, that’s democracy…Do you hear me clearly? Disagreement cannot lead to disunion. I will be a president to all Americans, and I will fight just as hard for those who did not vote for me as those who did.”
Once the inauguration concluded, a slew of trade groups across the housing industry spoke of policies it hoped the new administration would adopt to boost homeownership.
“America’s 1.4 million Realtors are as diverse as the nation and consumers they serve,” National Association of Realtors President Charlie Oppler said. “I was heartened by President Biden’s call for unity. As Americans, we will see leaders come and go during our lives, but our nation succeeds only when we unite.
“NAR is committed to assisting President Biden and the new Congress as we seek to heal our nation and strengthen the economy, continuing our 113-year tradition of working with every congress and presidential administration,” Oppler said. “We look forward to partnering on many of our common goals, including policies that will advance and expand the American Dream of homeownership, address housing affordability and accessibility and promote fair housing and racial equity.”
Other trade associations also joined in on congratulating the new president and vice president, commenting on the historic day.
“It is a historic day for our nation and democracy, and NAFCU welcomes President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as they are sworn into office,” said Dan Berger, National Association of Federally insured Credit Unions President and CEO. “NAFCU looks forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to help bring our nation closer together, respond to the pandemic and promote a brighter future for all Americans. To accomplish this, we remain committed to advocating for meaningful policies that help credit unions serve their 123 million members.”
Biden’s housing agenda includes a proposal for a $15,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. It is still to be seen whether that full amount can make it through the legislative process, but the odds for some form of homebuyer tax credit became much higher following the victories of John Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Georgia, giving Democrats a narrow edge in the U.S. Senate (with Harris being the tie-breaking vote).
In its statement, the National Association of Home Builders spoke of the homebuyer tax credit and the coronavirus recovery.
“We look forward to working with the Biden administration and new Congress to implement policies that will help the nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and move the housing industry and economy forward,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. “NAHB supports the concept of a homebuyer tax credit advocated by President Biden. We stand ready to partner with the new administration to ensure that creditworthy homebuyers and small businesses can get mortgages and loans, enact comprehensive housing finance reform that protects the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and improve the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. These pro-housing policies will provide more homeownership and rental housing opportunities for all Americans and boost economic growth.”
Upon taking office, Biden is expected to take 17 executive actions to roll back policies enacted during the Trump administration. He’ll stop construction of Trump’s border wall, reverse his travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries, rejoin the World Health Organization, and push for environmental policies that Trump spent four years blocking, including rejoining the Paris Accord and revoking the Keystone pipeline permit. And this is just the beginning of what Biden plans to do during his first weeks in office, incoming Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition expressed its support for these changes.
“Congratulations to President Joe Biden and to Kamala Harris, who today achieved many firsts as Vice President of the United States: Black, South Asian, woman and mom,” NCRC CEO Jesse Va Tol said. “Our political and cultural divisions are deep, but I’m hopeful for better national leadership and for a future that includes less racism, less hate, more love and more truth. President Biden’s executive actions today are the first steps toward a new version of America, centered not on who holds power but on values, laws and policies that ensure all Americans have a chance to live well and thrive.”