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New Report Suggests Affordable Housing Construction as the Way Forward

28 June 2017
Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) has released its 2017 State of the Nation’s Housing report. The new report suggests that the national housing market, after a decade of downturn from the Great Recession, is returning to normalcy.  The report underscored a rise in housing demand, home prices, and construction volumes--all contributing to homeowner’s gradual recovery since 2011.

However, the rebound in home prices is inconsistent cross-region, and affordability is a salient issue as demand strengthens but limited supply of for-sale and for-rent homes result in higher housing costs. As a result, homeownership is being pushed out of reach for many.    

Key findings include: 

  • Homeowners from low-income communities remain disproportionately crippled by mortgages when comparing to homeowners in high-income communities, leaving wide disparities in home price appreciation;
  • Multi-family housing is in demand everywhere, however, while construction success is concentrated in high-income communities, rental supply for low- and moderate-income households is not meeting demand; 
  • An aging population of millennials and baby boomers increases demand for rentals and entry-level housing;
  • The limited supply of low-cost rentals leave nearly 39 million households cost-burdened;
  • There is a growing need to support the addition and preservation of affordable, accessible, and safe households throughout the country through public subsidies, local attention to zoning laws, and dedicated resources 

Click here to read the State of the Nation’s Housing Report 2017.