It was largely ignored with the ongoing rush of news from Washington, but late last month Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced a bill she says is aimed at increasing the amount of affordable housing, both for purchase and for rent. That bill, SB 3503, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, is now the subject of an independent analysis by Moody Analytics. Mark Zandi, Moody's Chief Economist authored the report.
Zandi notes that construction of high-end housing, both for purchase and rent, recovered first from the housing crises and that type of housing is now in oversupply in many urban areas. Construction of units that are affordable for lower- and middle-income households to rent or own however, has only recently begun to increase and they continue to significantly lag demand. The worsening shortage of affordable housing is clear in the low and still declining rate of housing vacancies. Unoccupied housing for rent or sale has fallen sharply since the housing crash and is now as low as it has been in more than 30 years....(read more)