Affordable Housing: A Crisis We Can Solve
The lack of affordable housing is a national crisis that has hit working families especially hard.
As rents and home prices rise faster than incomes, safe and stable housing has become out of reach for many.
This crisis leads to impossible choices, health issues, frequent moves and disrupted opportunities for children. However, the affordable housing crisis is solvable if we make it a priority.
With political will, innovative policies and strategic investments, we can ensure that all families have an affordable place to call home.
There is no question that housing costs have skyrocketed while wages have stagnated.
The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment nationwide has risen over 60% in the last 20 years, yet incomes have increased only about 30% over the same period.
Buying a home is equally out of reach for most families.
The median home price in the U.S. is now over $300,000, requiring a household income of at least $60,000 and a sizable down payment to afford. For families earning minimum wage or in low-paying jobs, these housing costs consume 50-70% of their income or more.
When such a large portion of income goes to housing, parents struggle to pay for other basic needs like:
The solutions to this crisis are clear and proven.
Expanding rental assistance programs like Section 8 vouchers helps millions of families find decent, affordable housing with limited rent burdens.
Increasing funding for the National Housing Trust Fund provides grants to build and preserve affordable housing.
Local policies like inclusionary zoning, rent control, and eviction diversion programs also make a difference.
Partnerships with employers to develop workforce housing, especially near job centers, is another impactful strategy.
With collaboration at all levels of government and strategic investments in proven solutions, we can solve the affordable housing crisis.
It will require making affordable housing a priority through political will and a shared belief that all families deserve a place to call home. The crisis is solvable if we have the courage and conviction to act.
There is hope on the horizon for affordable housing options for all.