The Housing Crisis Ignites Action in State Houses

Housing Affordability
Contact: Karl Eckhart
VP, State & Local Government Affairs
(202) 266-8319

What is the solution to the housing crisis? Build more homes.

Boosting housing supply was the central theme of the discussion featuring two state lawmakers in “New Approaches to America’s Housing Crisis,” a April 18 webinar hosted by Pluribus News and sponsored by NAHB. State Reps. Maxine Dexter (D-OR) and Robert Spendlove (R-Utah) spoke at length about recent legislation in their respective states in response to the housing crisis.

Rep. Dexter acknowledged the importance of breaking down previous policy barriers to home building. Oregon lawmakers turned to housing stakeholders, including home builders, to develop a comprehensive solution.

As a result, a bipartisan omnibus housing production package was passed during the 2024 Oregon legislative session, which allocated $376 million to increase housing production, infrastructure investment, land acquisition and rental support.

Jodi Hack, executive officer of the Oregon Home Builders Association, said members worked closely with the governor and partners on the passage of pro-housing bills during the session.

“The 2024 legislative session was both rewarding and challenging. From the moment the gavel fell from the last session, we began working on pro-housing bills for the 2024 session,” said Hack. “Through the tireless efforts of our lobby team, Government Affairs Committee and members who came to the Capitol, submitted testimony, and reached out to their legislators, we were able to secure solid wins and enact meaningful change for our industry.”

In Utah, lawmakers also shifted their focus from demand incentives to supply. “The only solution is to build more homes,” said Rep. Spendlove.

Home builders worked with Utah lawmakers to address the barriers to production in the state. Member outreach resulted in H.B. 572 State Treasurer Investment Amendments. Rep. Spendlove explained that the bill would allow the state treasurer to invest in low-cost loans that developers can use.

“This bill doesn’t solve all of our housing problems,” said Ross Ford, executive officer of the Utah Home Builders Association. “But it is one opportunity to help accelerate residential construction in the state, especially for builders and developers who have challenges securing capital to move projects forward.”

Pluribus News Editor Reid Wilson also moderated a discussion with NAHB’s Immediate Past Chairman Alicia Huey. She reiterated the Federation’s willingness to work with state lawmakers on issues related to increasing the nation’s housing supply from zoning to workforce development:

“We want to be a resource…We’re not the enemy. We really do want to bring more housing to more people.”

Subscribe to NAHBNow

Log in or create account to subscribe to notifications of new posts.

Log in to subscribe