The cost of housing is the greatest factor impacting the economic mobility of Americans, according to the new report “Homeward Bound: The Road to Affordable Housing,” published by the National League of Cities (NLC).
“All levels of government–local, state and federal–need to face the nation’s growing affordable housing crisis,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., Chairwoman of the NLC’s Taskforce on Housing. “The time is now for local leaders and the federal government to make bold investments that will ensure our residents have access to a safe and stable home. Our Taskforce’s report is a roadmap for how we can work together to confront this crisis with innovative strategies before it is too late.”
The report details the problems impacting today’s housing market, including the cost burdens that weigh down half of renters. The report also considers how different localities, ranging from large urban centers to smaller suburban municipalities, are addressing their respective housing issues, and it details a set of national housing policy recommendations – including a new federal housing bill that authorizes 10 years of funding for pilot programs that advance housing for all–and local solutions including changes in local land use policies, including zoning and permitting, to rebalance housing supply and demand. The report also considers issues related to homelessness the problems that persons with conviction histories have in locating affordable housing.
“The housing crisis looks different in every city, town and village,” said NLC President Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of Gary, Ind. “Growing cities with robust housing markets have different concerns than legacy cities that have seen jobs dissipate and housing quality deteriorate. We embrace the fact that one of the primary responsibilities of a local leader is to ensure that residents have a place to call home. This report provides a comprehensive guide for local and federal leaders to take much needed action on behalf of communities of all shapes and sizes.”