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Getting Serious About Housing Supply Series

For decades, new housing production has lagged behind household growth in the United States, leading to an acute shortage of affordable homes. In 2021, the nation faced an estimated shortage of 5.5 million to 6.8 million units. To close this “underbuilding gap,” the U.S. would need to construct 60% more units than were created in 2020 over the next decade.

To explore different facets of the housing supply crisis and potential solutions, BPC’s J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy launched the “Getting Serious About Housing Supply” event series.

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Series Launch Event

December 14, 2021

View the slide deck

This event explored our nation’s housing shortage, including an overview of the demand-supply imbalance, its root causes, implications for renters and homeowners across the nation, and potential solutions.

Featured Participants:

Bryan Greene
Former General Deputy Assistant Secretary, HUD; Vice President of Policy Advocacy, National Association of Realtors

Ismael Guerrero
President and CEO of Mercy Housing; Former Exec. Director of Denver Housing Authority

Sam Khater
VP and Chief Economist, Freddie Mac

Dana Wade
Former Assistant Secretary for Housing, HUD; Former Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD; Chief Production Officer, Walker & Dunlop

Addressing Restrictive Land Use and Zoning

January 18, 2022

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Restrictive zoning and land use policies contribute not just to higher housing costs—they limit economic mobility, curb productivity, and lock in segregation and poverty. Although influencing local land ordinances and regulations is challenging as a matter of federal policy, many federal initiatives to eliminate local barriers to housing development have been put in motion by Democrats and Republicans alike. This event focused on what it will take to meaningfully address land use and zoning policies that drive up production costs and limit housing supply.

Featured Participants:

Sara Bronin
Professor, Cornell University, and Founder, DesegregateCT

Alyia Gaskins
Senior Program Officer, Melville Charitable Trust

Sonia Hirt
Dean and Hughes Professor in Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Georgia, College of Environment + Design

Michael Kingsella
CEO, Up For Growth

Alex Salazar
Principal, Salazar Architects

Aligning Housing Subsidies

February 17, 2022

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To make a housing development pencil out financially, developers rely upon a complex mix of loans, tax credits, grants, and other financing mechanisms. The fragmentation and complexity of various subsidies and financing options can add unnecessary costs and inefficiencies to the development process, adding to the overall costs of construction. This event, the third of our “Getting Serious About Housing Supply Series,” will explore how to streamline and improve incentives to build more homes, from multifamily rental housing affordable for low-income households to entry-level homes for purchase.

Featured Participants:

Elizabeth Kneebone
Research Director, Terner Center for Housing Innovation, University of California-Berkeley

Chrystal Kornegay
Executive Director, MassHousing

Orlando Cabrera
Partner, Arnall Golden Gregory

Amy Anderson
Senior Vice President, Lead Social Impact & Sustainability Specialist, Wells Fargo

Moderated by:

Andy Winkler
Director, Housing and Infrastructure, BPC

Supporting Construction Innovations to Drive Down Costs

March 24, 2022

View Andrew McCoy’s Slide Deck
View Judith Sheine’s Slide Deck
View Mark Bowersox’s Slide Deck

Costs layer on top of one another throughout housing development—from planning to construction to inspection—to push up the overall price tag of new homes. Yet innovations—such as modular and off-site construction, the use of novel building materials like mass timber and SIPS panels, and 3D printing—could help unlock housing production at all levels of affordability and at scale.

This webinar, the fourth of our “Getting Serious About Housing Supply Series” will examine innovative materials and building processes that offer lower cost and high-quality building options and discuss roadblocks to broader implementation.

Featured Participants:

Panel discussion with:

Mark Bowersox
President, Manufactured Housing Institute

Andrew McCoy
Professor and Director, Virginia Center for Housing Research, Virginia Tech

Judith Sheine
Professor of Architecture, University of Oregon; Director of Design, Tallwood Design Institute

Rusty Smith
Associate Director, Rural Studio

Moderated by:

Arica Young
Associate Director, Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, BPC

Corporate Initiatives to Boost Housing Affordability

April 21, 2022

Communities across the country have been underproducing new housing, resulting in an acute lack of affordable and available homes. The housing supply challenge is so profound that businesses, of all sizes, increasingly cite housing unaffordability as a primary barrier to attracting, retaining, and developing diverse and productive workforces. It is a critical factor guiding where companies decide to locate their operations and where workers search for jobs in such a competitive labor market.

This webinar—the fifth in our Getting Serious About Housing Supply series—will explore how corporate America is taking action, recognizing how they both affect and have been affected by fast-rising housing costs. A panel of experts will discuss how companies are getting involved—from investing directly in new housing developments to advocating for durable policy change—to help tackle fundamental barriers to housing construction, boost supply, and build stronger communities.

Featured Participants:

David Swift
Policy and Data Project Manager Amazon

Eileen Fitzgerald
Head of Housing Affordability Philanthropy, Wells Fargo

Sally A. Kraft, MD, MPH

Vice President, Population Health, Dartmouth Health

Moderated by:

Andy Winkler
Director, Housing and Infrastructure Project, BPC


The Need for More Skilled Construction Workers

July 21, 2022

View Ed Brady’s Slide Deck
View Harry Holzer’s Slide Deck
View Nick Guertin Slide Deck

Our country suffers from an acute shortage of safe, decent, and affordable homes. Exacerbating this problem is the lack of skilled construction workers that limits new construction and preservation efforts. In fact, the Home Builders Institute reported that between 2022 and 2024, approximately 2.2 million new workers are needed.

This webinar, the sixth in our Getting Serious About Housing Supply series, examined the reasons behind today’s shortage of skilled construction workers. It also explored potential solutions, from combating perceptions of the field to scaling up successful training programs, while taking on some of the specific employment challenges in rural and under-resourced communities.

Featured Participants:

Keynote remarks by:

Ed Brady
President and CEO, Home Builders Institute

Panel discussion with:

Nick Guertin
Associate Director, Revitalize Appalachia, Coalfield Development

Harry Holzer
John LaFarge, Jr. S.J. Chair and Professor, Georgetown University

Nicole Schwartz
Coordinator, Apprenticeship Readiness Program, North America’s Building Trades Unions

Moderated by:

Arica N. Young
Associate Director, J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, BPC

The State of the U.S. Housing Market

September 1, 2022

View Jeff Tucker’s Slide Deck
View Caitlin Sugrue Walter’s Slide Deck

The U.S. housing market is facing serious challenges. A structural deficit of homes for both sale and rent, combined with skilled labor shortages and supply chain snags, have led to rent and home price spikes. Complicating the picture is the uncertainty around the economy, inflation, and rising mortgage rates. This webinar hosted prominent economists to discuss the state of the housing market’s homebuying and rental sectors.

Featured Participants:

Panel discussion with:

Jeff Tucker
Senior Economist, Economic Research, Zillow

Caitlin Sugrue Walter
Vice President, Research, National Multifamily Housing Council

Moderated by:

Dennis Shea
Executive Director, J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, BPC

Preserving Affordable Housing: New Ideas, New Approaches

October 25, 2022

With the U.S. suffering from an acute shortage of affordable homes, the preservation of the existing affordable housing stock is more critical than ever before. Even when combined with repairs and rehabilitation, preserving a home that is affordable to a low- or moderate-income household is generally less expensive and more cost-effective than new construction. It also prevents the displacement of households that otherwise would be forced to relocate. This webinar explored new ideas and approaches to the preservation of affordable housing both for rent and sale.

Featured Participants:

Panel discussion with:

Jonathan Harwitz
Director of Policy, Housing Assistance Council

Dan Magder
CEO and Founder, Center Creek Capitol Group, LLC

Kristin Siglin
Vice President for Policy and Partnerships, National Community Stabilization Trust

Moderated by:

Dennis Shea
Executive Director, J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, BPC

Bringing Off-Site Construction to Scale in Rural America

November 10, 2022

View Kimberly Burnett’s Slide Deck
View Eric Schaefer’s Slide Deck

In most markets across the U.S., too little entry-level housing is being produced, keeping homeownership out of reach for many low- and middle-income families. From 2019 to 2021, the median price of an existing single-family home rose a staggering 30% nationally. Off-site construction techniques, such as modular and panelized construction, present a unique opportunity to produce lower cost, entry-level homes—particularly in rural communities. In this webinar, the ninth in our series, Getting Serious About Housing Supply, Abt Associates and BPC presented and discussed concepts for increasing production of starter homes.

Featured Participants:

Panel discussion with:

Kimberly Burnett
Senior Associate, Abt Associates

Jeffrey Lubell
Principal Associate and Director of Housing and Community Initiatives, Abt Associates

Eric Schaefer
Vice President, Sales and Strategic Partnerships, Fading West Development

Moderated by:

Andy Winkler
Director, Housing and Infrastructure, BPC

Read the report here.

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