Fostering Local Solutions to the Housing Supply and Affordability Crisis

Last year, the National League of Cities and the American Planning Association embarked on an effort to discover and advance locally driven solutions to our country’s housing supply and affordability crisis. The goal? To unite the public and private sectors to help local governments meet their residents’ housing needs. 

Recognizing the complexity of addressing these challenges, these organizations invited key housing stakeholders to engage and offer solutions. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) accepted the invitation to participate along with the National Association of Home Builders and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Through regular meetings over the past year, the groups examined how communities are making progress in four key categories: construction and development; finance; land use regulations; and workforce and infrastructure. These gatherings led to further discussions on how these successful efforts could be replicated in communities around the country. 

The Housing Supply Accelerator Playbook is the resulting menu of strategies that local governments and housing advocates can use to address the housing needs in their communities.

The Playbook is not meant to be prescriptive or a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing housing challenges. Rather, it’s a practical guide with over 40 strategies that meet communities where they are and empower them to address their own unique needs. Nearly every strategy is paired with a real-world example, offering a detailed explanation of how a community has successfully implemented it. 

While the Playbook is full of specific and actionable examples, perhaps the most important takeaway is that the housing supply and affordability crisis can only be effectively addressed by bringing together traditional and non-traditional partners. Communities must develop their own action plans to account for differences in local needs and capacities, consider the political feasibility of specific strategies, and incorporate diverse perspectives and participation across the housing ecosystem. 

The 1.5 million REALTORS® from local and state associations across the U.S. can be leaders in this effort as conveners and participants. NAR offers resources through its grant programs designed to help get initiatives like these off the ground.

Housing advocates are aligned on the diagnosis of the problem: Our country has a shortage of several million housing units, and we must increase supply. The time has come for alignment on solutions. NAR is committed to continued engagement on this critical issue to ensure individuals and families in every community have the opportunity to reap the benefits of homeownership.

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