New Democrat Coalition Paper Highlights Housing Crisis

The New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderate Democratic members of the House of Representatives, has released a white paper titled Missing Millions of Homes, which outlines the preliminary findings of the Coalition’s Housing Task Force, convened last year to consider solutions to rising housing costs. The report finds that "housing is increasingly unaffordable because prices and rents are rising faster than wages because construction is not keeping up with demand," and concludes that we need to build millions more housing units. The paper considers the impacts of unaffordable housing on households and examines various theories on the cause of the housing crisis.

In the paper, the Task Force argues that the lack of supply is due to a collapse in the construction industry over the last decade. It notes, "Because it so dominates American families’ budgets and because prices are rising, housing is creating the most pressure on family budgets. Media attention focuses on surging prices in education and medical care but the increasing cost of shelter has been the single largest increase in U.S. family budgets over the last 15 years."

While the paper focuses on the housing crisis broadly for all income levels, it specifically calls out the need for affordable housing for low-income families, citing the reduction in HOME funding since the program’s creation and the impact of tax reform on Housing Credit production.

The New Democrat Coalition describes itself as "68 forward-thinking Democrats who are committed to pro-economic growth, pro-innovation, and fiscally responsible policies. New Democrats are a solutions oriented coalition seeking to bridge the gap between left and right by challenging outmoded partisan approaches to governing." The Coalition’s Housing Task Force intends to release a follow-up report with specific recommendations later this year.

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