By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

Construction worker on framed roof.Many economists agree that cities across the country are not building enough affordable homes; according to the National Association of Home Builders, construction companies nationwide will fall short some 400,000 homes as they try to keep up with population growth.

In this context, housing advocacy groups are urging lawmakers to ease building restrictions. One group, called Up For Growth, published a report in April called “Housing Underproduction in the U.S.” In it, the authors note that between 2000 and 2015, U.S. homebuilders produced 7.3 million fewer homes than required to keep up with demand and population growth.

Moreover, the report states, California is in the worst crisis among all states – it has a shortage of 3.4 million homes – but low-cost states such as Idaho and Michigan face similar housing shortfalls.

“This conversation is frankly new to a lot of federal policy makers, so we’ve been engaged mostly in education,” Mike Kingsella, Up for Growth’s executive director, told City Lab, adding that the group plans to meet with Capitol Hill legislators.

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