Trump Signs Executive Order Establishing Council on Affordable Housing

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President Trump has signed an executive order to establish a White House Council on Eliminating Barriers to Affordable Housing Development.

The new council will, among other tasks, look at the impact that federal, state, and local regulations are having on the costs of developing affordable housing and the economy.

It will consist of members from across eight federal agencies and will be chaired by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson, the administration says in a release.

This new council will engage with state, local, and tribal leaders to identify and remove obstacles that impede the development of new affordable housing, including reducing regulatory barriers.

It will recommend ways to reduce statutory, regulatory and administrative burdens at all levels of government that hinder affordable housing development.

As per the release, many of the markets with the most severe shortages in affordable housing have the most restrictive state and local regulatory barriers to development.

In a statement, Robert D. Broeksmit, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), says the Trump Administration “is to be commended for shining further light on the housing affordability challenges facing low-to-moderate-income Americans and the middle class.”

“Housing affordability is an issue affecting millions of Americans, and we believe the public and private sectors must work together on solutions that ensure those looking to rent or buy a home are given every available opportunity,” Broeksmit says. [The] MBA looks forward to continuing to work with the administration and other stakeholders on this issue in order to strengthen communities throughout the country.”

Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), says “with housing affordability near a 10-year low, the president’s executive order on this critical issue underscores that the White House is ready to take a leading role to help resolve the nation’s affordability crisis.

“Given that homeownership historically has been part of the American dream and a primary source of wealth for most American households, the need to tackle ongoing affordability concerns is especially urgent,” Ugalde adds. “As we celebrate National Homeownership Month, we must ensure that homeownership remains in reach for younger and future generations. This can be achieved by providing access to affordable rental housing and growing the inventory of for-sale housing, particularly at the entry-level.”

Ugalde adds that a recent analysis by NAHB “found that regulations account for nearly 25 percent of the price of building a single-family home and more than 30 percent of the cost of a typical multifamily development.”

“We are pleased that the president’s executive order calls for the formation of a White House Council chaired by HUD Secretary Ben Carson that will seek to reduce regulatory barriers that are making housing more costly,” Ugalde says. “NAHB will continue to work with the White House and Secretary Carson to find innovative solutions to increase the production of sorely needed quality, affordable housing.”

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