NAHB Urges Congress to Enact Policies to Help Builders Boost Housing Production

Filed in Advocacy, Housing Affordability, Material Costs by on July 14, 2021 3 Comments

NAHB calls on Congress to to expand the housing supply, reduce the housing deficit and improve housing affordability for all Americans.NAHB CEO Jerry Howard testified before Congress today and called on lawmakers to enact key policy proposals that will help home builders to expand the housing supply, reduce the housing deficit and improve housing affordability for all Americans.

During a hearing before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight on the topic of expanding housing access to all Americans, Howard noted that rising home prices, apartment rents and construction costs represent additional risks to housing affordability for prospective home buyers and renters.

“Over the past decade, the residential construction industry has underbuilt and not kept pace with demand due to several supply-side constraints,” said Howard. “These include a lack of skilled labor and buildable lots, tight lending conditions, shortages and rapidly rising prices for building materials, and excessive regulatory burdens that have added approximately 25% to the cost of a single-family home and 33% to a multifamily unit. Progress must be made on all fronts to ease the supply-side challenges that are holding back housing production.”

With the persistent lack of housing stock representing the most significant challenge for prospective home buyers, Howard called on Congress and the Biden administration to take the following steps to expand access to affordable housing:

  • Fix the building materials supply chain. The United States must immediately engage with Canada to adopt a new softwood lumber agreement and stop the imposition of harmful tariffs on Canadian lumber that increase prices and price volatility. “Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has committed to holding a summit of industry stakeholders to examine supply chain issues for lumber and other materials and to explore policy solutions. We look forward to participating in that process,” said Howard.
  • Improve the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Congress needs to enact H.R. 2573, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. The bill would finance more than 2 million additional multifamily units over the next decade by increasing the amount of credits allocated to each state and expanding the number of affordable housing projects that can be built using private activity bonds.
  • Reformulate current homeownership tax incentives. Recent tax changes have undermined the effectiveness of the mortgage interest deduction, resulting in fewer middle-class taxpayers itemizing and incentives flowing more to high-income households. A shift away from the mortgage interest deduction to a permanent homeownership tax credit that is targeted to lower- and middle-income Americans would make homeownership more accessible to hardworking American families. Additionally, a permanent, first-time home buyer tax credit would complement this shift and could provide some relief to the challenge of accumulating a down payment.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Jessica Drzewiecki says:

    This is amazing. I am hoping Congress takes this serious and works to move on helping. Another issue I’ve seen home builders face in my area is land availability. In highly populated areas the only areas to go it out. This in combination with nature reserve areas make it hard to find land in many areas.

  2. Jeff Eckes says:

    Why didn’t you mention the fact that one of the CORE asks of congress in this is to remove local control of adoption of stricter (greener) building codes? As a builder of Passive House certified homes I find your actions shocking and truly working against adoption of these codes. We are falling behind the rest of the western world (and China!) in the adoption of building codes based in science and NOT POLITICS!

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