That is on top of the $213 billion slated for housing in the infrastructure plan, which could transform an agency relegated to backwater status under Mr. Trump into a key player in Mr. Biden’s efforts to target structural racial and economic inequality.
The plan includes a significant expansion of federal housing assistance voucher programs, the main conduit for low-income housing funding, adding an additional 200,000 families to the 2.3 million already on the rolls. That alone would account for a $5.4 billion increase in the department’s annual budget.
The spending proposal would also further the anti-discrimination agenda championed by the department’s new secretary, Marcia L. Fudge, by funding “mobility-related supportive services” to make it easier for families to move into more racially, ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods.
The plan also includes $500 million in additional funding for homeless programs, targeting more than 100,000 additional households, including domestic violence survivors and homeless youth. That funding is in addition to the $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers already provided in Mr. Biden’s pandemic relief bill. — Glenn Thrush
Bolstering labor enforcement.
The spending proposal would fund the Labor Department at $14.2 billion, a 14 percent increase. That includes a 17 percent increase for the department’s enforcement agencies, like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency responsible for ensuring that workers are protected from the coronavirus.
OSHA was widely criticized last year for failing to adequately inspect worksites in industries like meatpacking, where thousands of workers became infected. According to a report by the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group, the agency had fewer than 900 inspectors at the outset of 2020, the smallest number in more than 40 years.
The Biden administration has also proposed an increase in the funding that states receive to administer unemployment insurance, including an update in the formula that allocates such funds and $100 million to upgrade information technology. — Noam Scheiber