By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer
Local regulatory costs and delays at times amount to nearly 50 percent of the cost to build a single-family home. The National Association of Home Builders and the National Multifamily Housing Council, in an analysis released last month, reflects an earlier report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, which found that nearly a third of American households paid more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing in 2016. Both reports point to regulatory burdens as contributors to housing costs.
The housing sector, according to the Harvard study, “faces significant challenges in the short term” because “labor shortages, rising materials costs, limited land availability, and land-use regulations are all holding down growth in new residential construction.” In the long-term, furthermore, is the significant question of “whether the home-building industry can supply, and local regulations allow, enough new housing to meet the need for homes affordable to a broad range of households.”