NAHB’s Blueprint to Address the Housing Affordability Crisis

A 10-Point Housing Plan

Housing Affordability

With a nationwide shortage of roughly 1.5 million housing units that is making it increasingly difficult for American families to afford to purchase or rent a home, NAHB provides this 10-point housing plan to help tame shelter inflation and ease the housing affordability crisis by removing barriers that hinder the construction of new homes and apartments.

Shelter inflation — rent and homeownership costs — is still rising well above a 5% rate, and for the past year, more than half of overall inflation in the economy has been due to rising housing costs. The only way to effectively tame shelter inflation – particularly with elevated interest rates for both mortgages and development/construction loans — is to build more attainable, affordable housing.

With policymakers at all levels of government looking for ways to provide more affordable homeownership and rental housing opportunities for all Americans, NAHB is offering a plan that outlines initiatives that can be taken at the local, state and federal levels to address the root of the problem — the impediments to increasing the nation’s housing supply.

  1. Eliminate excessive regulations;
  2. Promote careers in the skilled trades;
  3. Fix building material supply chains and ease costs;
  4. Pass federal tax legislation to expand the production of affordable and attainable housing;
  5. Overturn inefficient local zoning rules;
  6. Alleviate permitting roadblocks;
  7. Adopt reasonable and cost-effective building codes;
  8. Reduce local impact fees and other upfront taxes associated with housing construction;
  9. Make it easier for developers to finance new housing; and
  10. Update employment policies to promote flexibility and opportunity.

NAHB delves further into these issues below.

Printer-Friendly Version of NAHB’s Blueprint

Access a PDF of the 10-point plan.

Promotional Materials for HBAs

Resources exclusively for state and local associations related to NAHB’s Housing Plan.

Housing regulations

Eliminate Excessive Regulations

Regulations account for nearly 25% of the cost of a single-family home and more than 40% of the cost of a typical apartment development. Policies at all levels of government are needed to ensure agencies consider the true effect of regulations on small businesses.

Workforce Development

Promote Careers in Skilled Trades

There’s a monthly shortage of nearly 400,000 construction workers, and builders will need to add 2.2 million new workers over the next three years to keep up with demand. Policymakers should support funding for construction trades education and provide more placement services to job seekers.

Material Costs

Fix Building Material Supply Chains

The cost of building materials has surged 38% since the pandemic. Of particular concern, the price of distribution transformers is up 72%, and along with a severe shortage of transformers, this is delaying housing projects across the nation.

A tiny house on pieces of paper next to a pencil and calculator

Pass Federal Tax Legislation to Expand Production of Affordable and Attainable Housing

The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and enable builders to increase production of badly needed affordable housing.


Overturn Inefficient Zoning Rules

Inefficient land use policies make it harder and more expensive to build. Localities need to rework ineffective zoning plans, and provide more options, such as reducing minimum lot sizes, allowing more accessory dwelling units and promoting missing middle housing (e.g., townhomes and duplexes).

Regulatory Barriers

Alleviate Permitting Roadblocks

Permitting delays at all levels of government delay housing projects and raise construction costs. Localities need to make it a priority to avoid needless bottlenecks in their approval processes. One easy solution is a time limit on how long the government has to either approve or deny a permit.

Energy Codes

Adopt Reasonable and Cost-Effective Building Codes

Studies have shown that building to the 2021 IECC can add as much as $31,000 to the price of a new home and require up to 90 years for a home buyer to realize a payback. That’s not a reasonable trade-off and would not provide meaningful energy savings.

Impact Fees

Reduce Local Impact Fees and Other Upfront Taxes

The home building industry agrees that some impact fees are necessary to cover the costs of increased public services for new home developments. However, lawmakers must impose impact fees fairly with the cost to the home buyer in mind.

Money magnifying glass

Make it Easier for Developers to Finance New Housing

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks should be encouraged to support a secondary market for AD&C financing that would expand financing options for builders to increase the housing supply.

A stack of employment law books on a table with a gavel and glasses

Update Employment Policies to Promote Flexibility

The current patchwork approach for builders to determine worker status, calculating overtime pay and prevailing wages creates, and documenting employment status creates unnecessary burdens and disincentivizes housing production.