The move, backed by NAR, gives HUD flexibility to boost affordable housing in various ways, such as advocating for zoning changes and working with local officials.
WASHINGTON – The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)announced a new program designed to help the nation’s housing supply shortage by boosting affordable housing.
HUD’s “Our Way Home” goal is to increase the U.S. housing supply by helping local communities preserve and add affordable housing in their area, both for rentals and homeownership. The process is flexible, and HUD expects it to include several initiatives, like advocating for zoning changes, holding roundtables to engage local and state leadership for solutions, and more.
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) welcomed HUD’s announcement to combat the housing supply challenge.
“As NAR has long recognized, a collaborative approach that involves local partners is critical to building strong, thriving, and inclusive communities,” NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith said in a statement about HUD’s new initiative. “‘Our Way Home’ promises to not only provide tools and resources necessary to address the supply shortages plaguing the country, but it will also improve vital HUD programs based on feedback gained through this effort.”
A report NAR commissioned last year that found that the U.S. faces a housing shortfall of 5.5 million housing units. The gap is so large, NAR says, that eliminating it will likely take more than a decade. The combination of record-high home prices and record-low housing inventories is making homeownership increasingly difficult to achieve, particularly for Americans of color and first-generation home buyers, NAR says in its recent “Double Trouble” report.
“This historic shortage of affordable housing requires a once-in-a-generation response,” Rouda Smith says.
NAR supports zoning reform, greater allocations to increase new-home construction, expanded financing options and tax incentives that increase investments to convert unused commercial spaces into residential.
“The shortage of affordable housing has been growing for decades – but this is a solvable crisis,” says HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Across the country, we are seeing many communities ending exclusionary zoning, building affordable housing in communities that previously did not allow it. We are seeing communities use innovative building models and materials, and design homes that are sustainable and resilient. And we’re seeing communities tackle homelessness by building permanent affordable housing with services. These are the types of community wins that we want to elevate with ‘Our Way Home’ and encourage others to follow.”
Source: National Association of Realtors® and HUD.gov
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