Policies to Address Affordable Housing Shortfall Discussed
Effective deterrents to predatory lending, the creation of land banks to make lots available for housing, broad-based consumer education efforts and a revitalized Federal Housing Administration were among the approaches to affordable housing reviewed during recent roundtable discussions co-hosted by the NAACP and NAHB.
The meeting drew expertise from the leadership of the nation’s leading housing advocacy groups.
“The roundtable discussion was a critical first step in determining how we move the affordable housing issue from a policy discussion at the national level to a movement that makes a real difference in the lives of families across the nation,” said Dennis Hayes, interim president and CEO of the NAACP. “We view this issue from a broader context, and seek to determine the larger social costs of current development patterns. We don’t want to encourage policies that promote economic disassociation.”
Discussion ranged widely, from sub-prime lending to the production of affordable rental housing, from weak federal housing programs to local zoning practices. Participants agreed that the current shortage of affordable housing will only grow worse without concerted action by both public and private sector institutions.
“The immediate challenge is to ensure that policy makers at all levels of government are aware of the increasing demand for affordable housing, then give them a set of clear and concise recommendations to meet that need,” said NAHB President Brian Catalde.
Other roundtable participants included:
Participants agreed to hold a two-day symposium in the fall to formulate policy recommendations that a broad coalition of organizations can endorse.
“The challenge will be ensuring that the ideas generated at the symposium are addressed by Congress and the President,” Hayes added. “We will continually work with other advocacy organizations and policy makers to ensure that homeownership, a central component of the ‘American Dream,’ is not an illusive vision, but a reality for those that seek it.”
For more information, e-mail Blake Smith at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8583.