The Need for 5.5 Million Homes

  • June 16th 2021

by UrbanTurf Staff

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Homes in DC's Shepherd Park. 

A new report out today quantifies the enormous housing shortage in the U.S. and calls on policy makers to fix it. 

In the past two decades, residential construction fell 5.5 million units short of historical levels, according to a new report out from the National Association of Realtors. That shortage breaks down as follows: two million single-family homes, approximately one million units in buildings with two to four units and 2.4 million units in buildings with more than five units. 

To fix the shortage, the report says that builders need to construct 2.1 million new units a year for the next decade. To put that building pace into context, builders added 1.225 million new housing units, on average, each year from 2001 to 2020.

"The state of America's housing stock…is dire, with a chronic shortage of affordable and available homes [needed to support] the nation's population," the report asserts. "A severe lack of new construction and prolonged underinvestment [have led] to an acute shortage of available housing…to the detriment of the health of the public and the economy. The scale of underbuilding and the existing demand-supply gap is enormous…and will require a major national commitment to build more housing of all types."

To fix the shortage, the report calls for expanding the tax credit program for low-income and offering incentives to reduce regulatory limits on housing density in cities, among other things. 

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-need-for-55-million-homes/18392.

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