The Real Reason Why The US Has A Housing Crisis

An excess of luxurious housing and an inadequate amount of affordable housing has led to a housing crisis in the United States.

By Ryan Clancy | Published

America is facing a housing crisis nationwide due to a lack of houses. While governments may blame this political party or that party, these problems seem to be overreaching any state or government party. Especially parts of rural America deal with various social issues such as skyrocketing crime, housing costs, and homelessness.

Before the national housing strategy, which helps all people find appropriate housing, construction companies were not interested in building affordable homes for everyday people. This lack of control has resulted in an excess of luxury houses and nowhere near the number of affordable housing needed. As there is limited housing for low-income families, homelessness and crime are also on the rise.

Statistics from the non-profit organization, Up for Growth have found that America would need to build an extra 3.8 million homes just to meet the current needs of its population. That is a staggering oversight of the basic needs of the American people.

Over the last few years, there has been a perfect storm to get to the current American housing crisis. Home construction has declined by 55% since the 2008 recession; due to this cease in building, house prices have rapidly increased while wages have remained the same. All these factors have contributed to the number of homeless families and the lack of community housing.

Overhauling the housing and construction industries is the only long-term solution to this crisis. Policies and laws must be passed from the federal to the local level. These should include changes such as zoning laws and tax codes. Changing these processes would make the construction process less demanding and expensive.

housing crisis market

Zoning boards are one of the factors that should be changed when tackling the housing crisis, as most zoning boards are made up of local homeowners who look to protect their property value. This reason is why many multi-story, affordable housing is rejected as it may decrease the surrounding property’s value. 75% of American cities are zones for single-family homes, again restricting any affordable housing needed.

Also, the federal government has a number of incentives built into the tax system to encourage people to use properties as a vehicle for wealth building, making the housing market more like an investment fund. As a result, more than half of the homeowners are planning to use the sale of their homes in their retirement fund.

This combination has resulted in a significant housing and basic needs crisis. The poorest families, paying over 50% of their annual income on housing, cannot afford to live without government subsidies.

For America not to have 3.8 million houses as a basic need for their people is not acceptable. People need roofs over their heads if they are expected to be a part of the American community. The government has failed the people of America by letting this crisis get to this level. The housing and construction communities need to change from the ground up to include the vulnerable, not just the rich, and this needs to happen quickly.