NAHB calls on Biden to fight “affordable housing crisis”

Tea National Association of Home Builders calls on the White House to address what the trade organization called “the growing housing crisis.”

In a letter sent to President Biden on Wednesday, signed by more than 10,000 NAHB members, the group warned that rising housing prices are pushing the housing market to “a turning point that threatens to derail current housing and economic expansion.”

The industry association, representing large and small entrepreneurs, pointed to several problems that have contributed to the crisis. The high cost of building materials and problems in the supply chain, rising interest rates, rules and shortages of construction workers have all played a role, NAHB wrote.

The resulting affordability crisis has been particularly acute for beginner-level buyers and renters, the group said.

“Our members in all states across the country are clearly concerned that growing supply chain disruptions and deteriorating price conditions, which are hurting demand, are weakening the housing market,” NAHB President Jerry Konter said in a statement. “The industry believes that these challenges will be exacerbated if no meaningful steps are taken to enable developers to increase the supply of affordable single and multi-family homes for sale and rent. If the housing sector falls, the economy will certainly keep up.”

In a press release, the NAHB said that since August, the volatility of timber prices has raised the price of a typical single-family home by more than $ 18,600 and added about $ 10,000 to the price of a typical apartment. These price increases come when affordability is already at a low level for more than 10 years, according to the latest data from NAHB / Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

The client’s letter also contained some suggestions on how to tackle the economic crisis. At the top of the trade group’s list is removing tariffs on Canadian timber, which it claims acts as an additional tax on U.S. homebuyers.

“An important first step in addressing the problems of affordability in this current high-inflation environment would be to immediately suspend tariffs on imports of softwood from Canada and quickly begin negotiations with Canada to pursue a new, long-term softwood agreement. “, it is stated in the letter to Biden.

The NAHB also called on the White House to address “federal regulatory reform,” which it claims puts upward pressure on housing spending.

In the past, the NAHB pushed for revisions of federal fair housing rules to avoid “federal interference in local land use decisions.” The group has also criticized guidance that prevented federally-backed homeowners from evicting tenants on the basis of arrest records.

“Reducing burdensome regulations, which account for nearly 25% of the cost of building a single-family home and more than 30% of the cost of a typical apartment building, will provide more opportunities for home ownership and rental housing for all Americans,” the letter said.

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