The Department of Housing and Urban Development published a request for information to dig into how regulations could be creating barriers to affordable housing.

The RFI is seeking public comment on federal, state, local and tribal laws, regulations, land use requirements and administrative practices that raise the cost of affordable housing and contribute to housing shortages.

“Owning a home is an essential component of the American Dream,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said. “It is imperative that we remove regulatory barriers that prevent that dream from becoming a reality.”

“Through this request, communities across the country will have the opportunity to identify roadblocks to affordable housing and work with state, federal, and local leaders to remove them,” Carson continued.

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13878, “Establishing a White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing,” saying that, for many Americans, the supply of available housing has not kept pace with the demand for housing by prospective renters and homebuyers, driving up housing costs.

Now, HUD is looking for the following information points:

  • 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
  • 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

This RFI is a part of the work Carson is undertaking as the chair of the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing. The Council’s eight federal member agencies are engaging with governments at all levels—state, local and tribal—and other private-sector stakeholders on ways to increase the housing supply.

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