Affordable Rental Housing — A Lesson in Supply and Demand

- Insights

On July 15, 1949, the Housing Act of 1949 was signed into law which set forth the ambitious goal of a “decent home and a suitable living environment for every American.” Despite this lofty goal, America is facing a housing affordability crisis today. Millions of families, senior citizens,
and veterans struggle to keep a roof over their head because they cannot afford their rent. Yet in communities across the nation, rents continue to rise while incomes of many renters remain stagnate. Perhaps the most visible symptom of this affordability crisis is homelessness, which has become a growing problem in communities across the nation.

The federal government has tried its hand at addressing this housing crises, including through programs such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), HUD Section 8 Rental Assistance and housing choice vouchers which have provided much needed incentives to develop, own and operate rental housing that is affordable. However, funding levels for these programs have remained well below that needed to adequately address the challenge.

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Devon Cooper |