December 5, 2018

Freddie Mac Examines the Mismatch Between Housing Demand and Supply

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  • Freddie Mac has released a new analysis of the mismatch between housing demand and supply across the country. The study points out that while the U.S. housing market added 1.25 million housing units last year, Freddie Mac estimates that the current rate of demand is approximately 1.62 million housing units per year— which is 370,000 units more per year than the 2017 rate of supply. The analysis notes that residential construction across the country has been weak by historical standards for almost a decade, pointing out that the U.S. economy is about 2.5 million housing units below what is needed to match long-term demand. Freddie Mac suggests that three major factors have been driving demand for more housing construction: a growing population; the need to replenish existing stock; and the benefit of having some vacant units in a well-functioning market, since that increases liquidity and enables prospective buyers to find a match. (Freddie Mac, December 5) 
  • An article in the Los Angeles Times looks at how California’s wildfires have exacerbated the state’s housing challenge. It notes that over the past 14 months, five major wildfires – including Northern California’s Camp wildfire -- have destroyed nearly 21,000 homes across six counties, a figure that is equivalent to more than 85 percent of all the new housing units built in those counties over the past decade. (LA Times, December 5) The New York Times writes that the Camp wildfire, which destroyed nearly 14,000 residences, has added an entirely new population of tens of thousands of homeless people to the state’s long-entrenched homelessness challenge. It also points out that local providers of shelter and aid are “bracing for an influx of new people in need, putting even more pressure on the shelter system and forcing difficult decisions about who should get priority for limited space.” (The New York Times, December 3)
  • New York City is finalizing the acquisition and conversion of nearly 500 “cluster units” across 17 buildings into permanent affordable housing. Those units are currently under the city’s the cluster site program, which houses homeless individuals and households in privately owned apartments that are paid for by the city. Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City has announced that the city will finance the acquisition of those units by local not-for-profit developers to enable them to rehabilitate the units and preserve them as affordable housing for homeless families and low-income New Yorkers. This effort, part of Mayor De Blasio’s broader initiative that aims to address the city’s homelessness challenge, will offer permanent affordable housing to more than 1,000 New Yorkers in the Bronx and Brooklyn. (, December 4)
  • HUD has awarded $23 million to nearly 80 fair housing organizations to assist them in protecting tenants and home buyers from housing discrimination. Provided through HUD's Private Enforcement Initiative, these grants offer a range of assistance to the nationwide network of fair housing organizations to help them carry out testing and enforcement activities. (HUD, December 4)


Upcoming Webinar

  • This Thursday, December 6, Enterprise will hold a webinar to discuss ways to include creative placemaking in development timelines and budgets. This webinar, which will break down the budgets of creative placemaking projects to explore how arts and culture were paid for and phased, will feature Mark Matel, program director of the Rose Fellowship at Enterprise, and Annie Ledbury, architect and creative placemaking manager at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation. Register here for the webinar

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