Biden-Harris Administration Releases Over 90 Agency Equity Action Plans

On Thursday, the Biden-Harris Administration released Equity Action Plans from more than 90 federal agencies, including all Cabinet-level agencies, that identify more than 300 concrete strategies and commitments to address systemic barriers in policies and programs that disproportionately impact underserved communities. The equity plans are pursuant to Executive Order 13985 issued by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on his first day in office, directing the whole of federal government to advance an equity and racial justice agenda.

Agencies throughout the federal government have detailed actions to expand federal investment and support in communities that have been historically marginalized, including communities of color, Tribal communities, rural communities, and more. Relevant new agency commitments include:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services is increasing outreach to communities of color to encourage enrollment in free and low-cost health care and is addressing the maternal mortality crisis that disproportionately impacts Black and Native families, including by working with states to extend postpartum coverage in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expanding equitable access to nutrition assistance programs and strengthening gender equity by implementing a national awareness campaign and expanding implementation of online ordering in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development is working to eliminate the racial gap in homeownership, address disproportionate rates of homelessness in underserved communities, and reduce bias in home appraisals through the interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is developing a comprehensive framework for evaluating the cumulative impacts of pollution on underserved, low-income communities. The EPA will also reinvigorate civil rights enforcement to ensure environmental justice is at the core of the agency’s mission.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs is advancing health equity by further addressing the social and economic determinants of health for underserved veterans and launching a Data for Equity Strategy to synchronize data on health care, disability benefits, and other services to identify and address gaps.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency is closing the flood insurance gap to increase financial resilience of flood-prone, low-income households and promoting equitable outcomes for disaster survivors by increasing eligibility for and access to assistance programs for underserved and vulnerable applicants.
  • The Department of Commerce is investing nearly $50 billion in broadband infrastructure deployment, affordability, and digital inclusion efforts to help close the digital divide, particularly for rural and Tribal communities.
  • The Department of Energy is ensuring equitable access to weatherization assistance programs so that low-income households have increased access to energy security.

Additional information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s agency equity plans is available here. Further information on HHS’ equity action plan is available here.