flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

Solutions to Housing Affordability

Advertisement
billboard - default
Affordability

Solutions to Housing Affordability

A crisis point or a time for quick adaptation? Here's what our readers have to say about providing affordable housing


December 14, 2021
Affordable housing crisis newspaper
The solution to affordable housing may not be a quick fix, but the possibilities for immediate industrywide change keep us all on our toes.
This article first appeared in the November/December 2021 issue of Pro Builder.

If you’ve ever conducted a survey or hosted a focus group that allowed participants to freely voice their opinions, you know the risk that comes with that endeavor: a wildly disparate, mostly thoughtful, occasionally profane, and (almost) always insightful stew of comments that leaves you wishing you’d never asked the question in the first place.

So when I gave you, our readers, the opportunity to submit a write-in response to the question: “What’s needed to enable more affordable housing?” within our annual housing forecast survey (see the results here), I got what I deserved from more than 300 of you.

Among a lot of good ideas, patterns emerged. “Government intervention” was a common thread, but representing polar opposite views. One side was summarized by “Deregulate construction, deregulate banking, deregulate oil exploration, freeze environmental regulations, and stop raising taxes,” while the opposite end of the spectrum can be characterized by “Housing [that] enjoys government preference [if sold] only to urban, low-income families.”

There also were calls for the feds to place controls on materials costs, as well as the charmingly hopeful response of “Mutually beneficial regulation” and the simplistic “Get rid of the NIMBYs.”


RELATED


Others weighed in with ways to speed construction through technology (“Modular building methods ... can move people into homes in a matter of months instead of years”) and down-speccing (“Less fancy, more basic”) to help lower costs and (theoretically) prices. Some simply suggested improving the status quo (“An efficient project schedule has the biggest impact”), which is probably the best place to start.

The question brought out the cynics, too: “There has not been one customer since 2008 who has bought a standard home. Affordable homes are available, but buyers’ wishes and dreams put affordability out of the equation.” Put more concisely by one reader, “Not going to happen!”

Several readers threw their hands up in resignation, or admitted they could offer no solution to what has reached a crisis point for the American Dream.

But among all of the responses, the most provocative was this: “You have been told what to do every time you ask this question. Now what are you going to do about it?”

That’s a good question.

 

Written By
Editorial Director

Rich Binsacca is editorial director of Pro Builder Media, Custom Builder, and PRODUCTS. He has reported and written about all aspects of the housing industry since 1987 and most recently was editor-in-chief of Pro Builder Media. rbinsacca@sgcmail.com

 

Advertisement
boombox1 -
Advertisement
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category




Advertisement
native2 - default
Advertisement
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.


Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Subscribe
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.