Over the past year, NAHB’s “Building the Dream” series — in partnership with The Hill — has explored various factors contributing to the housing affordability crisis. Although the crisis had been a longstanding issue prior to COVID-19, the current pandemic has altered the situation in many cases, including delays in supply chains, labor shortages and increased interest in the suburbs, that have had a further impact on the cost of housing. The Hill’s Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons this week explored the current conditions of housing affordability with policymakers and industry leaders during the series’ final event.

Having access to a safe, affordable housing has been a paramount concern during the pandemic for both home owners and renters. Forbearance and rental assistance have provided short-term relief in the immediate wake of COVID-19, but additional assistance is still needed to prevent families from slipping into poverty, along with longer-term solutions to address overall affordability.

“There are millions of people in this country who are very vulnerable to any setback in terms of what they can do to stay in a safe, affordable, accessible home,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, shared. “We first need to deal with eviction, but we absolutely need a housing policy that will encourage partnerships in building more housing … Housing has gotten so expensive in metropolitan areas but so cheap in many ways in other places still, and we’ve got a find a ways to encourage growth in those areas.”

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