Several affordable housing leaders met last week with National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Domestic Policy Council Director Ambassador Susan Rice, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Sandra Thompson to discuss housing supply and affordability.
Leaders from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), National Multi-Housing Council (NMHC), Mortgage Bankers Association, National Housing Conference, National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Fair Housing Alliance, Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition were invited to the meeting.
The institutions, which have previously spoken out about the issues in the current state of the housing market, discussed legislative, administrative, private sector, and state and local actions to address housing supply and affordability challenges across the country.
NMHC President Doug Bibby commented:
“Regulations are contributing to the rising cost of housing. Fully 40.6% of the cost of a new apartment community, on average, is attributable to regulatory burdens. Now is the time to tear down exclusionary zoning laws that undermine the ability to develop affordable rental housing,” said Bibby.
Bibby also highlighted the “need for increased funding and reform of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and made the case for increased funding for rental assistance, HUD programs, and emergency eviction mitigation grants.” He noted that NMHC “supports tax incentives to spur housing production such as adding resources for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and establishing a Middle-Income Housing Tax Credit.”
“This afternoon’s candid discussion demonstrated broad agreement on bipartisan approaches to increase housing supply and meet our shared commitment to address the critical housing needs of all Americans. If there was one overall takeaway from the discussion it was that there is so much that these groups all agree on. We look forward to continuing to work together with leaders in Congress and the Administration to address the nation’s housing challenges,” concluded Bibby.
NAHB CEO Jerry Howard commented:
“With the housing market currently in a recession and the nation facing a growing housing affordability crisis, NAHB welcomed the opportunity to meet with top administration officials today to discuss actions policymakers can take to move the housing market forward and boost the economy.
“Specifically, NAHB urged the administration to focus on helping to ease building material supply chain shortages that are resulting in housing construction delays and higher home building costs. Of note, builders are reporting concrete shortages in several states and a dearth of transformers that provide electricity to homes which is halting development across much of the country.
“We also asked the White House to make it a priority to ensure sufficient liquidity for the housing market and to eliminate unnecessary regulations that slow the homebuilding process and raise housing costs for home buyers and renters,” concluded Howard.
NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith commented:
“This was a candid discussion of ideas about how to fill the historic 5.5 million housing unit gap in the United States. Housing supply is the number one issue for millions of consumers who are locked out of the market. I conveyed to the Administration and my colleagues our support for a comprehensive plan that includes investment in new construction, zoning reforms, expansion of financing, and tax incentives to spur investment in housing and convert unused commercial space to residential.
“Discussions like this are critical to raising awareness about housing affordability. Middle-income, first-time, and first-generation homebuyers feel the most impact of this supply shortage as they face greater obstacles in the current economic climate. We look forward to continuing discussions with the Administration, policymakers, and our industry partners to advance viable reforms that have a lasting impact on the housing market,” Smith concluded.