Opportunity to Comment on Causes of Raised Costs in Affordable Housing Development

Critical Important to Remind President Trump’s Council that Fair Housing Must be Protected and All Neighborhoods Need Quality Affordable Housing

The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment on federal, state, local and tribal laws, regulations, land use requirements and administrative practices that “artificially raise” the costs of affordable housing development and contribute to the nation’s housing supply shortage.

Click here to read the RFI which includes a link to submit public comments.  Responses to the RFI are due on January 21, 2020.   The RFI provides the opportunity weigh in on barriers to developing affordable housing that are faced at the federal, state and local levels but to remind the Council of the critical need to create affordable housing in all neighborhoods and to protect fair housing regulations.
In this RFI, HUD is seeking information on the following:
  • Specific HUD regulations, statutes, programs, and practices that directly or indirectly restrict the supply of housing or increase the cost of housing;
  • Policy interventions, solutions, or strategies available to State, local, and Federal decision makers to incentivize State and local governments to review their regulatory environment or aid them in streamlining, reducing or eliminating the negative impact of State and local laws, regulations, and administrative practices;
  • Ways that State-level laws, practices, and programs contribute to delays in the construction industry and specific laws, practices, and programs that could be reviewed;
  • Common motivations or factors that underlie local governments’ adoption of laws, regulations, and practices that demonstrably raise the cost of housing development, and whether such factors vary geographically;
  • Peer-reviewed research and/or representative surveys that provide quantitative analyses on the impact of regulations on the cost of affordable housing development;
  • Performance measures, quantitative and/or qualitative, the Council should consider in assessing the reduction of barriers nationally or regionally and advantages and disadvantages of each measure; and
  • Recommendations on how to best utilize HUD’s Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse for States, local governments, researchers and policy analysts who are tracking reform activity across the country.
Earlier this year, President Trump signed an executive order establishing a White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing.  This interagency council is headed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson and comprises eight federal agencies to lead efforts to identify ways to address barriers to the creation of affordable housing. 
When the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing was established in June, affordable housing advocates expressed concern.  Citylab reported in “Don’t Call Trump’s Housing Order a YIMBY Plan” that the Council could remove regulations that in fact help create affordable housing, defund grants that help create affordable housing in lower income neighborhoods, and further hurt efforts to enforce fair housing law.  And will the Council work to lower the cost of housing and address the housing affordability crisis across the United States.
HUD notes that this RFI is a part of the work Secretary Carson is undertaking as the chair of the council. The council’s eight member agencies are engaging with governments at all levels and stakeholders on ways to “increase the housing supply so more Americans have access to affordable housing.”