The Question

There is an affordable housing crisis in communities across the developed world.

In 2018, nearly half of all renters in the United States were considered cost-burdened (defined as paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing) and 25 percent of rental households were severely- burdened, or paying more than 50 percent of their household income on housing costs.

Even prior to the global public health crisis in 2020, millions of American residential tenants were being evicted from their housing units every year.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the median wait time for applicants seeking Housing Choice Vouchers (Federal rental assistance) is 1.5 years and the wait time for Public Housing (administered through local Public Housing Authorities) is 9 months.

The demand for housing affordable to low-income families far outpaces supply.

As a result, there is now a shortage of more than 7 million housing units available at prices that extremely low-income American households can afford.

(Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University)

The central issue at the root of these statistics is this: the price that must be charged to profit from selling or renting housing that meets all minimum regulatory requirements is far higher than what many households, spending no more than thirty percent of their incomes, can afford to have mortgaged or to cover in monthly rent payments.

Given these bleak statistics, is there a way to address the affordability crisis without sacrificing housing quality?

To learn more about the conventional narrative often told about how to address the affordable housing crisis, continue to THE NARRATIVE.