NACCED recently had the opportunity to attend the first Housing Affordability Roundtable at the White House. This event brought mayors and county commissioners to Washington to speak with the Administration’s top housing officials about the affordability challenges and solutions happening in communities across the country.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson kicked off the event by outlining some of the affordable housing issues HUD is working to address including the issuance of new condo rules, increasing housing density, incentivizing the private sector to build affordable housing, and working with landlords to get vouchers accepted in more housing developments. Following the Secretary’s remarks, the discussion opened up to the local government leaders who shared some of the issues happening in their communities. Representatives from a wide range of communities were in attendance, including county commissioners from NACCED members El Paso County, CO and King County, WA.
The discussion centered on issues including the gap in resources to help complete affordable housing developments, the lack of resources to allow seniors to age in place, the need for more affordable housing infrastructure, the costs of affordable housing including labor, materials, and zoning regulations, and impact that Opportunity Zones will have on the affordable housing stock.
The meeting ended on a positive note, as Secretary Carson noted solutions to these issues cannot be found without open discussion. HUD and White House staff said the roundtable was just the first in a series of discussions with local government leaders on affordable housing issues. NACCED looks forward to continuing these conversations with the top affordable housing decision makers and building on relationships that will help NACCED members do more for their communities.