Study: Housing Market Instability Requires Robust Policy Response

A report from the Urban Land Institute calls for a multi-faceted approach to stabilizing the housing market and protecting tenants and homeowners.

December 29, 2021, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Baltimore Rowhouses

Baltimore Heritage / Flickr

A survey of tenants, advocates, and real estate professionals conducted by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) shows that most Americans support extending and institutionalizing assistance programs that helped people stay in their homes during the pandemic, writes Jason Plautz in Smart Cities Dive. One analysis shows that the federal eviction moratorium, struck down by the Supreme Court in August, led to 1.55 million fewer evictions than normal. A report released last week calls for a robust, multi-angle approach to stabilizing the "unsustainable" rental market and preventing further evictions and foreclosures. 

According to Plautz, "all parties generally agreed that cities and states should implement or enhance programs that provide emergency assistance and long-term support to renters, increase housing supply and ensure safe and clean housing." Fewer respondents supported policies like rent control and zoning reform, which have stirred heated debates among local stakeholders as cities and states move to eliminate single-family zoning, encourage housing construction and density, and promote transit-oriented development. "One area that did see more consensus was the need to increase housing supply, both for renters and for first-time homebuyers," writes Plautz. 

The report also suggests more innovative solutions such as community land trusts and housing cooperatives that can lower cost and put homeownership within reach of more households, particularly in communities of color that face added hurdles to finding affordable housing.

Monday, December 20, 2021 in Smart Cities Dive

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