The lack of affordable housing has become a common problem in many states. Homebuyers and renters are no longer the only ones concerned. Local and national government officials and the mortgage industry’s big players are also taking notice.
The new Mortgage Bankers Association Chairman David Motley challenged the industry to take bigger efforts in addressing the worsening affordable homeownership dilemma.
“Today, demand for affordable housing greatly exceeds the supply, causing tight markets and high prices for both rental and owner-occupied properties,” Motley mentioned. “In fact, there are fewer homes available for sale today that at any point in the last 18 years. Loan officers in our company have stacks of pre-qualified applications on their desk, or stored in their cell phones, but those would-be buyers can’t find a suitable house.”
The newly sworn-in chairman recognized that there is indeed a growing shortage of affordable homes. According to him, housing supply and demands are badly out of sync.
Motley: Mortgage Profession Must Initiate Ways to Prudently Grow Supply
Motley urges mortgage professionals to work hand in hand with home builders, property brokers, and other key players to achieve one common goal — to grow the supply of affordable housing units.
Motley encouraged the formation of coalitions and making active engagements. To get the job done, there is a need to work with “state MBAs and helping them engage with local coalition partners to address barriers with state regulators and legislators.” He added, “This kind of collaboration is what we need to expand housing opportunities for the communities we serve.”
Support Good Regulations, Yet Remain Vigilant for Regulators who go Overboard
In his speech, he also said that mortgage professionals “must support good regulation that protects consumers, supports a vibrant housing market and prevents a repetition of past mistakes.” However, Motley also stressed out the importance of not being passive if some federal regulators go beyond the necessary with enforcement actions. “But we also need regulation that articulates clear standards, establishes reasonable tolerances and proportional remedies, and encourages common-sense lending.”
Local Governments are also Seeking for Solutions
In San Diego, California, for example, dozens of initiatives are up on the board to solve the explicit shortage of affordable homes.
Recent inventories have shown that 162,000 new homes must be completed in the next three years to meet the demand. However, the county is only expecting 80,000 units to be built by then.
To address this issue, one of the solutions is to encourage homeowners to build auxiliary housing within their properties. These cheap additional housing will be rented out to eligible individuals who could not afford a home.
Still, in the state California, Los Angeles City has come up with programs to help address the growing number of people affected by the lack of affordable housing.
Part of the program is to seek new architectural design proposals which are economical yet do not compromise structural quality and safety. Other strategies include providing more employment opportunities and increasing income, especially for the homeless.
While it is unfortunate that many individuals’ American Dream is hindered by issues on affordable housing, it is good to know that our leaders, industry professionals, and consumers have finally recognized that it is a problem requiring adequate and prompt solutions.
Various initiatives were already implemented to help ease the problem. To completely eradicate it, many more are already on the drawing board. With hope, we are looking forward to a future America where everyone enjoys more opportunities for homeownership.