The Facts on Housing Affordability in the United States
Politifact’s Bill McCarthy digs into housing claims made by candidates during last month’s presidential debate.
One response to sky-high housing prices is simply to build more housing units. But experts said a number of factors contribute to housing unaffordability and make it a difficult problem to solve.
For starters, incomes have stayed flat while home prices and rents have continued to increase since the 2008 recession, Silverman said.
“After inflation, incomes have barely budged, and real rents have been increasing over time,” Schwartz said. “At the same time, you’ve had very little increase in rental subsidies.”
There has also been a lull in construction, which Dietz said has been limited by the “five L’s,” meaning labor, lots, lumber, lending and laws. He said there’s a shortage of construction labor, a low supply of lots, jacked-up prices for lumber, tight conditions for lending and restrictive laws.
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