Trump Creates Council to Study 'Eliminating Barriers to Affordable Housing Development'

President Trump is scheduled to sign an executive order today that will create a federal-level group to study the obstructionist practices of local governments and the potential for a federal response.

2 minute read

June 25, 2019, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Trump Campaign

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

[Updated August 19, 2019]

[Update: Planetizen has gathered additional news coverage of the new White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing in a separate article, published on June 26, 2019.]

[Update: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has published a press release to announce the creation of the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing via executive order signed on June 25, 2019.]

"The Trump administration will explore using federal programs to push local governments to soften or eliminate rules that block housing construction, an issue that has stymied officials at all levels of government for years," according to an article by Laura Kusisto.

"President Trump is expected to sign an order Tuesday creating the White House Council on Eliminating Barriers to Affordable Housing Development [sic], which will include members of eight federal agencies," adds Kusisto.

Kusisto notes the limitations of federal power in overturning local land use regulations, but the council will "produce a study quantifying the effect of regulations on the housing market and the U.S. economy as a whole." Kusisto references "The State of the Nation's Housing" report, published today by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University to describe the current housing market in context of today's actions by the Trump administration.

In attendance at the signing will be U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who has "made easing barriers for the private sector to build housing the signature issue of his tenure as HUD secretary," according to Kusisto (as well as several articles in the Planetizen archive).

The news about the Trump administration taking this additional step against local control of land use regulations comes shortly after Republican Senator Todd Young of Indiana introduced the "Yes In My Back Yard Act," which would leverage Community Development Block Grants to hold city's accountable for their housing policies.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in The Wall Street Journal

Large historic homes and white picket fences line a street.

The End of Single-Family Zoning in Arlington County, Virginia

Arlington County is the latest jurisdiction in the country to effectively end single-family zoning.

March 23, 2023 - The Washington Post

Amtrak Acela Express train passing through Harrison station in Newark, New Jersey

‘Train Daddy’ Andy Byford to Oversee Amtrak’s High-Speed Rail Efforts

Byford, who formerly ran NYC Transit and Transport for London, could bring renewed vigor to the agency’s plans to expand regional rail in the United States.

March 28, 2023 - StreetsBlog NYC

Buses in downtown Seattle on the dedicated 3rd Avenue bus lanes

Seattle Bus Lane Cameras Capture Over 100,000 Violations

An automated traffic enforcement pilot program caught drivers illegally using transit lanes more than 110,000 times in less than a year.

March 28, 2023 - Axios

View of Statue of Liberty with New York City skyline in background

Immigration Grows, Population Drops in Many U.S. Counties

International immigration to the country’s most populous areas tripled even as major metropolitan areas continued to lose population.

March 31 - The New York Times

Detroit Sports Arena

$616 Million in Development Incentives Approved for District Detroit

The “Transformational Brownfield” incentives approved by the Detroit City Council for the $1.5 billion District Detroit still require approval by the state.

March 31 - Detroit Free Press

A red sign reads, “Welcome to New Canaan.”

Affordable Housing Development Rejected for Lack of Third Staircase in Connecticut

The New Canaan Planning Commission rejected a development proposal, including 31 below-market-rate apartments, for lack of a third staircase, among other reasons, at a time when advocates are pushing to relax two-staircase requirements.

March 31 - Stamford Advocate

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.