The causes of unaffordability, of course, are multiple…historically low levels of new construction, soaring land and material costs, labor shortages, restrictive regulations. The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank indicates that during the last ten years of economic expansion, the annual rate of single-family home starts is -25% below 1990’s level of housing starts and that the current rate of construction relative to the number of households is at its lowest level since the 1950’s. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy indicates that the cost of land has increased more than 76% from the year 2000. Big, productive and progressive cities are hampering housing supplies with deliberate, restrictive regulatory choices.
According to Schuetz, local governments have no incentive to change but without change, “…high housing costs (are)…fundamentally damaging…and hurting the vitality of our most productive regions.. Additionally…(high housing costs) are seeping into and damaging the lives of more and more individuals and families.”