June 6, 2018

Community Developments: New Report by the New Democrat Coalition on the National Shortage of Housing

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  • Today a group of House Democrats, through the New Democrat Coalition, released a preliminary report on “America’s Housing Crisis: Missing Millions of Homes.” The report argues that “after years and years of too little construction, we are now short millions of homes,” noting that in order to “accommodate growing population and other sources of new demand, we likely need more than a million additional new units per year.” It also identifies that “the biggest shortfall in housing supply is affordable housing for low-income families,” and notes that funding for critical affordable housing programs has remained stagnant or fallen in recent years. (New Democrat Coalition, June 6) As previously highlighted in Community Developments, Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26) is circulating a Dear Colleague letter asking his House colleagues to co-sponsor the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 1661), bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). Enterprise encourages all affordable housing stakeholders to share the Dear Colleague letter with your representatives and ask them to support the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. Visit the ACTION Campaign’s Advocacy Toolkit for resources to contact your member of Congress.
     
  • The Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up its FY 2019 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill tomorrow morning. Enterprise urges stakeholders to reach out to Senate Appropriators to voice their support for robust funding for essential programs like the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the Community Development Block Grant Program, the Section 4 Capacity Building Program, and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. The Senate’s FY 2019 THUD bill follows the House version, which provided mostly level funding for housing and community development programs. For more information on the House bill and the appropriations process, see Enterprise’s blog post.
     
  • A new report composed by city staff of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Enterprise Community Partners looks at the current state of housing affordability in the city, as well possible strategies for creating more affordable housing. The report notes that local home prices have increased 36 percent and rent 24 percent since 1990, while the median household income only risen 4 percent. The analysis shows that 34 percent of city’s households are cost-burdened, spending more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing. It offers recommendations for addressing these challenges, including allowing homeowners to build/add accessory dwelling units and establishing a new fund to acquire land for affordable housing. In November, the city will have a housing ballot measure to increase the funds available to subsidize new affordable housing from $15 million to $50 million. (The Charlotte Observer, June 5)
     
  • An article in CBS News looks at the connections between the growing incidence of baby boomers delaying downsizing by holding onto their homes and the tight inventory of homes. According to the article, nearly 80 percent of seniors own their homes, compared to only 35 percent of Americans under the age of 35. Furthermore, a survey from Realtor.com found that 85 percent of baby boomers did not plan on selling their homes over the next year, removing 33 million properties from the market. The article attributes higher retirement ages, later-age downsizing and children living with their parents longer as trends keeping baby boomers in their homes. (CBS News, June 6)
     
  • In a blog post, researchers from Urban Institute analyze data on the affordability of Boston’s housing market. According to the post, construction in metropolitan Boston has struggled to keep up with the 11 percent increase in population that took place between 2010 and 2017, contributing to a 118 percent increase in home prices since 2000, which was unevenly distributed between the city center and nearby suburbs. The blog notes that these challenges have impacted the rental market as well, with only one in five local renters able to afford buying a home in Boston. (Urban Institute, June 5)

In Case You Missed It

  • Earlier this month Enterprise hosted a two-part webinar on Opportunity Zones: Part 1, State and Local Policies to Prevent Displacement, discusses anti-displacement policies that can help ensure existing residents and businesses benefit from, and participate in, the growth and economic development that occurs in a community; Part 2, State and Local Policies to Attract Investment, discusses policies that can be pursued at the state and local level to attract investments to specific communities or projects through the creative use of incentives. Access the webinar’s recording on the Enterprise website and visit our Opportunity Zones webpage for more information and updates. 

For the latest housing and community development news and notes, follow the Enterprise policy team on Twitter: @E_Housing Policy and subscribe to the Capitol Express Newsletter. The Enterprise Public Policy team works to safeguard, expand and improve programs that end housing insecurity. Learn more about our public policy efforts.