Housing is the largest regular expense for most Americans. But a record housing shortage and skyrocketing rents and home prices mean millions of Americans now struggle to afford housing.
The Pew Charitable Trusts’ housing policy initiative works to help policymakers reimagine their approach to housing by illuminating how regulations and statutes drive the housing shortage and rising costs. Strict zoning and land-use regulations have limited the availability of homes, especially lower-cost options such as apartments and townhouses, which could otherwise help meet the nation’s housing demand. At the same time, outdated financial regulations have prevented millions of creditworthy homebuyers—especially Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous people, and those in rural communities—from obtaining a mortgage to finance a low-cost home, pushing many borrowers into riskier and more costly alternative financing arrangements.
Pew studies the ways that policymakers can increase housing availability and safe home financing by revising land-use regulations that have reduced housing supply and increased costs, improve access to small mortgages—those under $150,000—and make non-mortgage financing arrangements safer for homebuyers.