America needs to advance long-term solutions to improve housing supply and affordability

This content is provided by the American Property Owners Alliance.

Years of underinvestment and underbuilding have left America with a severe housing shortage unlike ever before. Without action, this crisis will only worsen. Elected officials must prioritize the pro-housing solutions on the table now and safeguard the future of property ownership.

Owning a home remains a priority for 8 in 10 Americans, yet achieving this goal has become nearly impossible for middle-income buyers due to high home prices, fluctuating mortgage rates and competitive, all cash bidding. At the same time, rising rental prices are preventing hopeful homeowners from building the savings needed to make a down payment.

Today, about 1.13 million homes remain on the market compared to the nearly 4 million available in 2007. Of the homes that are available, most are unaffordable. This year, buyers hoped to spend, on average, $269,200 on a home, yet the median price of a home today is $394,300.

What’s more, in recent years, our nation has faced a decline of about 4.7 million affordable apartments—units with monthly rental prices less than $1,000. As large investors, private equity firms and other corporations continue to purchase large portions of residential property for profit making ventures, affordability challenges only escalate due to these groups charging high rents and their unwillingness to negotiate affordable rental agreements.

At the same time, investors are buying up single-family homes with competitive, all cash bids that a typical buyer cannot compete with. In fact, one-third of buyers today are paying in cash, keeping many prospective homeowners on the sidelines.

Ensuring there are enough affordable homes and rentals to meet demand is key to setting prospective buyers up for success and unlocking more equitable access to the wealth-building benefits of homeownership.

While many solutions are on the table, some are short-sighted and don’t address the root of the problem—America needs to build more housing.

Fortunately, long-term solutions do exist today, including creating a grant program to help pass pro-housing policies at the state and local levels to remove regulatory barriers to construction so more homes can be built faster.

Additionally, expanding tax credits and incentives can further increase the supply of affordable homes. The Revitalizing Downtowns Act would maximize the use of existing properties by creating a tax credit to convert unused or outdated commercial and office buildings into residential and mixed-use spaces in cities throughout the country. Similarly, the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act would create a pathway to sustainable homeownership and neighborhood stability by providing new incentives to build and rehabilitate moderately priced homes, adding about 500,000 homes in communities most in need of investment.

Our nation needs action across all levels of government to drastically increase supply and improve affordability. A critical component of this is ensuring resources flow to the leaders in state and local governments who know their communities best and can implement effective solutions.

The American Property Owners Alliance (The Alliance) advocates for the rights of current and future property owners, and educates and mobilizes citizens in understanding, promoting and influencing the policies that support property ownership.

The Alliance also provides direct support for homeowners and buyers today through a variety of resources on the issues that matter to them most, such as setting first-time home buyers up for financial success and understanding the tax incentives available to homeowners.

In addition to grassroots advocacy efforts, The Alliance hosts events across the country to provide direct support to current and future homeowners, allowing them to meet with experts who can connect them with resources in their community. This year, The Alliance has convened experts and met with those navigating the local market in Charlotte, Dallas, Cleveland and Montgomery.

We know that we can’t solve America’s housing crisis overnight, but what we can do is work together at the federal, state and local levels to push forward the long-term solutions on the table.

It’s critical for Americans to hold their elected officials accountable to follow through on their promises to improve housing supply and affordability, and protect the dream of homeownership for years to come.

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