Advocates Request President Biden Create Council on Housing Affordability

Representatives of the housing sector, including NLIHC, sent a letter to President Biden on March 9 asking that he convene a President’s Council on Housing Affordability. The letter – cosigned by NLIHC and more than 40 organizations representing nearly every section of the housing industry, including housing affordability advocates, realtors, developers, builders, labor unions, and members of the financial sector – drew attention to the severe need for affordable housing throughout the country and argued that constructing more homes would help address the problem. In particular, the letter pointed out that moves made by the Federal Reserve Board to control inflation by increasing interest rates could lead to higher rents and rising building costs. The letter called for the council to be composed of stakeholders from HUD as well as the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Labor, Treasury and Veterans Affairs. The council would aim to develop interagency solutions to address the nation’s dire housing affordability crisis.

“Despite gains in levels of building both single-family and multifamily homes, housing prices are rising rapidly,” reads the letter. “Driven by more than a decade of housing production deficits, supply shortages, rising labor and material costs, and pandemic-related supply chain issues, the cost of shelter is less affordable for everyone across the income spectrum, particularly for those least able to afford it. Housing is a continuum. Lower homeownership rates lead to higher rents where demand exceeds the already severe shortage of housing affordable to the lowest-income households. This in turn may increase homelessness among those already struggling to afford shelter.”

Read the letter at: