United States Representative Adam Schiff is taking another shot at solving America’s housing crisis, this time through a proposal to convert government-owned buildings into affordable rental housing.

Join the movement at Inman Connect Las Vegas, July 30 – Aug. 1! Seize the moment to take charge of the next era in real estate. Through immersive experiences, innovative formats and an unparalleled lineup of speakers, this gathering becomes more than a conference — it becomes a collaborative force shaping the future of our industry. Secure your tickets now!

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is taking another shot at solving America’s housing crisis, this time through a proposal to convert government-owned buildings into affordable rental housing.

The Affordable Housing Conversion Act would allocate $1.25 billion over five years toward identifying and converting unused and underutilized government buildings into rental units geared toward households whose income is 50 percent to 80 percent below the area median income outlined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Rep. Adam Schiff

“In a time where so many Americans are continually struggling to find safe, affordable housing, the Government Facilities to Affordable Housing Conversion Act represents a step forward in our efforts to address the housing crisis,” Schiff said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “By repurposing government buildings that have outlived their original use, we’re not only making efficient use of our resources but also increasing the supply of affordable housing.”

“We cannot stand by while the housing shortage displaces families and erodes the middle class,” he added. “It’s time to employ a broad range of strategies to ensure that every American has access to a safe, affordable place to call home.”

If passed, the bill would require HUD, the Administrator of General Services, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to produce annual reports analyzing the government’s real estate portfolio and what portion is eligible for conversion.

The bill also includes the creation of a $250 million annual grant fund from 2025 to 2030. The grant fund would enable states, federally recognized Indian Tribes, and local governments to purchase buildings eligible for conversion.

Buildings in the conversion program must maintain a specific income mix that reserves at least 60 percent of units for households making no more than 50 percent to 60 percent of the area median income. The remaining 40 percent of units could be occupied by households making no more than 80 percent of the area median income.

The total housing cost for households – including water, sewer, electricity, heating, cooling, trash and recycling, etc. — cannot exceed 30 percent of residents’ pre-determined monthly income limit, a percentage widely regarded as the affordability standard in public housing spaces.

Schiff and the bill co-sponsor, Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., did not provide an estimate on how many buildings could qualify for the program. However, the Los Angeles Daily News, which was the first to report on the bill early Tuesday, said approximately 45,000 buildings meet the Act’s standards.

Kevin Sears | NAR President

National Association of Realtors President Kevin Sears said the Act is key to closing the nation’s growing inventory gap.

“The United States is facing an unprecedented housing inventory shortage. As a result, renters are faced with increased housing costs associated with an under-supply gap of 5.5 million units,” Sears said in a written statement. “The National Association of Realtors thanks Congressman Schiff for introducing the Government Facilities to Affordable Housing Conversion Act, which incentivizes the conversion of unused government buildings into affordable housing units.”

“It is critical for Congress to create new ways to incentivize affordable housing development, and NAR commends Congressman Schiff for his leadership on this issue,” he added.

This is the second housing conversion bill Schiff has proposed.

In 2023, he sponsored the Hotel to Housing Conversion Act of 2023 (H.R. 3117), a bill that would put $750 million toward converting hotels, motels and unused residential properties into transitional and permanent housing for homeless people and people at risk of homelessness.

The bill was introduced and sent to the House Committee on Financial Services in May and has since stalled.

Email Marian McPherson

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription