News & Press: The Road Home Newsletter

It's a CRISIS: Single-Family Owner Occupied Housing Inventory

Wednesday, March 14, 2018  
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March 13, 2018

Single-Family Owner-Occupied Housing Inventory:  It’s a CRISIS . . .

Don’t believe all of the headlines.  Recent reports about the increased new home starts reflect only part of the story – these reports include multi-family apartments units for rent as well as single family units for owner occupancy -- but do not include the 3.5 million unit deficit that remains from the lack of building in the past six years. As we have stated before, there is a crisisin single family owner-occupied housing inventory that is not receiving adequate coverage or attention.

We find ourselves in crisis due to multiple factors:  per the National Association of Homebuilders, the average cost of regulation and compliance adds $84,000 to the price of new home construction; the massive transfer of owner-occupied homes to institutional investors (for rental) that took so much home buying opportunity away from the “main street” consumer of America; increased capital requirements imposed by regulators on banks and subsequently homebuilders that make the cost of land acquisition and development and home construction prohibitive; and constraints on credit that shut out many potential homeowners and make mortgage costs artificially high for all – to name a few.

Obviously, there is no single solution that will resolve all of these issues and, frankly, some of these effects will not be “un-done” for years to come.  But we need to urge our policy makers to take bold steps now to address this crisis before it worsens.  To do this, at every level of government, the regulatory burden needs to be reduced.   Whether these restrictions emanate from “not in my backyard” concerns, or the complicated processes related to environmental protections and other state and federal red-tape, we need to look at how the housing needs of today and tomorrow are being negatively impacted.  We need Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be held accountable to their charters and require that repossessed properties be offered first to owner-occupant buyers before they are sold to investors. We need the Trump Administration to include first time homebuyer incentives in their proposed infrastructure legislation to ensure that our workers have the opportunity to become homeowners.  And we need policy changes at the GSEs and FHA to open up credit availability by accepting alternative credit scoring models and removing obstacles to financing more affordable units like condominiums.

At Your AHA we are committed to our mission to protect and promote sustainablehomeownership for all segments of America.  This single-family owner-occupant housing availability issue IS A CRISIS. We need more voices to change these stagnant and debilitating public policies. Please ask your neighbors – your friends – and your co-workers to join the AHA today. Go to our website at: My AHA/Registration and use the promotional code: aha2018 to become a member and get the first year membership FREE.

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