It’s no secret that there’s incredible demand for affordable housing across America. Our work focuses on the challenge that a growing proportion of our population faces in bridging the gap between earnings and housing prices. There’s an even greater challenge looming. According to recent reporting by Donna Kimura, a considerable number of affordable rental housing units – nearly 25 percent of existing LIHTC inventory – will transition in the next decade out of their federally mandated affordability restrictions, likely becoming market rate and presenting residents with a steep, maybe insurmountable, financial challenge.
Affordable homeownership is a model whose benefits don’t expire. Using tax credits similar to LIHTC but with more permanent effect, for-sale inventory can be developed and made available to residents who retain the appreciation in equity. Homeowners have greater agency over their financial futures and a fundamental wealth-building opportunity that has been slipping out of reach for a lot of Americans. It’s not without risk to become a homeowner and it’s not the answer for everyone. But for many, many potential buyers, homeownership would mean sustainable affordability and a new chance at building and retaining assets overtime.
There’s no magic solution for our national affordability crisis. But, with the evidence-based impact of the homeownership model and thoughtful policy to re-extend access to more individuals and families, we can disrupt the trend of wealth concentration and democratize economic opportunity.
Visit HomeownershipWithinReach.org for details on the proposal or to share your perspective on changing America’s housing future.