Newswise – A proposal developed by a University of Michigan economist and others to ease the U.S. housing crisis is being presented to federal housing authorities. Brian Connolly, assistant professor of business lawplans to attend a housing ideas presentation in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. Officials from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and the National Economic Council are expected to attend.

Connolly and his colleagues Heidi Aggeler and Avilia Bueno from Root Policy Research, I recommend creating a dashboard for the federal government to track housing production within and between local areas and states. Despite the data’s relevance and importance to fair and affordable housing, no laws currently mandate it—and few agencies have developed methods to track this production. The idea was among 18 winners of a Housing Ideas Challenge launched by the Federation of American Scientists and other organizations aimed at crowdsourcing ideas to improve housing supply. The initiative generated several hundred suggestions. Connolly discusses his proposal and its social and economic implications.

How did you come up with this idea and what do you like about it? The fact that there is currently no way to do this type of tracking seems to be a big reason at first.

The United States is facing a severe housing crisis, and many scholars and policymakers are fixated on the idea that we need to reform zoning to make it easier to build housing. Although there is a need to simplify the housing construction process, there is surprisingly little data on the nuances of housing construction permits, approvals, and production.

In any given city, there is little accessible information about the number of housing units proposed by developers, approved for construction, and actually built, and it is difficult to determine why certain housing units are not being built. For example, it is difficult to determine whether vacant housing is the result of restrictive zoning, other legal restrictions, or financing problems for developers. This lack of information is even more serious when it applies to every city and state in the country.

With data collected and made available through a national housing dashboard, researchers, policymakers, developers and others would have a better understanding of what is causing our housing crisis – and what policy changes will most effectively address it.

How difficult would this be in terms of money and resources for local and state governments?

It’s a relief, but less severe than some other policy interventions. There would be hardly any obligations for the state governments.

As we proposed, local governments that receive federal funding for housing would be required to submit an annual report to the federal government detailing how many housing units have been proposed in their jurisdiction, how many they have approved, how many have been built, affordability of these completed units and why planned units were not built.

What do you hope to accomplish in Washington?

The event in Washington is a presentation of the ideas selected for publication by the Federation of American Scientists. Federal housing policy leaders will be in attendance and will be a great opportunity to discuss more about these and other ideas for improving federal housing policy.

The problem of meeting the demand for more and better affordable housing seems insoluble. Are you optimistic that your idea and others, if implemented, could move in the right direction?

I’m definitely optimistic that we can address our housing problem, but it will take time and will require a significant shift from the way we have done things for the last 100+ years. Polls currently show that political attitudes are aligned in favor of expanding affordable housing options, and policymakers must capitalize on these attitudes by finding the most effective solutions to the problem.

Data collection on new and existing housing has been limited, and our idea provides an opportunity to better understand our housing market and housing trends. Many of the other ideas in the showcase represent other departures from old practices that will help move the needle.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *