The New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderate House Democrats, has released a white paper seeking to find a solution to chronic problems facing the housing industry.
The report, Missing Millions of Homes, says its goal is clear: “We need to build millions of more housing units.”
“NAHB commends the work of the New Democrat Coalition Housing Task Force to seek solutions to the nation’s housing affordability and shortage woes,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “Housing construction creates jobs, contributes to the tax base and is important for a strong and healthy economy. We look forward to working with Democratic and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill to find solutions that will help builders construct sorely needed affordable housing units for hard-working American families.”
In crafting the document, the New Democrat Coalition worked closely with NAHB and Democratic lawmakers relied heavily on our research and data that we provided them.
While the white paper notes that lawmakers need to continue to flesh out and develop full policy recommendations, the document listed the following factors that are among the causes of a housing construction shortfall:
- Zoning and land-use regulations are slowing and restricting building of housing.
- Demand has shifted to walkable transit-served urban areas, which are in short supply.
- Construction funding is less available in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
- Construction labor is not getting more productive and the labor pool is not increasing.
NAHB believes the following steps need to be taken to help address current problems in the housing market and boost new home and apartment construction:
- Reduce burdensome regulations that add up to 25% of the cost of a new home.
- Enact a long-term trade agreement with Canada that will ensure American home builders and consumers have access to a reliable supply of lumber at reasonable prices.
- Increase the domestic supply of timber from public lands.
- Promote workforce development.
- Update the nation’s inefficient zoning and land-use laws.
The New Democrat Coalition’s white paper represents an important step forward in keeping housing issues at the forefront on Capitol Hill.