Biden Releases Plan to Tackle Housing Affordability Crisis
The Biden administration today released what it calls a "Housing Supply Action Plan" to ease high housing costs by increasing the supply of quality housing throughout the nation over the next five years.
"We commend the White House for joining the fight to put the issue of housing affordability in the forefront of the national economic agenda after NAHB had been urging the administration to move on this vital national concern for the past several months," said NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter.
"However, the plan does not go far enough to resolve the many underlying challenges facing the home building industry, including skyrocketing costs for lumber and other building materials, and the broader supply chain crisis. These issues must be addressed to help home builders increase the production of much-needed housing.”
As interest rates and construction costs have increased, the housing market is showing significant signs of weakening, increasing the recession risk for the overall economy. Increasing the nation's supply of affordable housing will help to combat the inflation crisis and keep the economy moving forward.
Builders across the country have faced a 35% increase in the price of lumber and other building materials since the start of the pandemic. NAHB urges the White House to act on the common-sense solutions that we have offered to address the current lumber crisis — ending tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the United States that are exacerbating unprecedented lumber price volatility, increasing the domestic supply of timber from federal lands in an environmentally responsible manner and calling on domestic sawmills to boost output.
NAHB will continue to work with the administration to resolve supply chain disruptions for building materials, which must be addressed immediately.
The White House plan includes steps that the administration can take through the federal agencies to help address a host of affordability challenges and improve financing options, as well as legislative proposals that must be enacted by Congress. The administration acknowledges the long-term headwinds, like supply chain bottlenecks and chronic construction labor shortages, repeatedly identified by NAHB members as holding back housing production.
Though the plan also properly identifies that state and local governments must address the policies and regulations that prohibit housing, NAHB is calling on the administration to acknowledge the need to reform federal regulations that raise the cost of producing single-family and multifamily housing.
NAHB agrees with the White House that the key to resolving our nation's housing affordability challenges is to build more homes. The home building industry is a willing partner in solving the affordability crisis that will enable builders to construct more affordable entry-level housing, raise first-time, first-generation and minority homeownership rates, provide quality rental housing and shore up the national economy.