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Trump Quietly Signs Executive Order To Launch New Council On Affordable Housing To Battle Homeless Crisis

Trump housing order homelessPresident Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to establish a new council for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that focuses on affordable housing.

The White House Council on Eliminating Barriers to Affordable Housing, chaired by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, will work with state and local governments to “identify and remove the obstacles that impede the production of affordable homes — namely, the enormous price tag[s] that follow burdensome government regulations,” HUD explained in a press release.

California HUD Regional Public Affairs Officer Eduardo Cabrera told the Daily Caller News Foundation that while it’s important to get things done without funding, “we know now that 25% of expenses with new housing are related to regulations” that can be cut if they are properly identified.

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“Burdensome regulations make construction more expensive and time-consuming,” Cabrera explained.

More than 25% of the money used to build a new home is the result of federal, state and local regulations, HUD said in its press release. Houses are being built at slower-than-expected rates or started and never finished, which puts the country’s homeless population at risk.

Some of these regulations, according to the White House, include restrictive zoning issues, rent controls, building codes, energy and water-efficiency mandates, maximum-density allowances, historic preservation, environmental regulations, outdated restrictions, parking requirements, time-consuming review procedures, tax policies, labor requirements and developer fees.

HUD’s 2006 “Guide to More Effective and Efficient Building Regulatory Processes Through Information Technology” says a single day’s delay “caused by the regulatory process” can add $100,000 to the total cost of a “mid-rise building.” Creating a council to try to eliminate those costs to create more affordable housing for the homeless is necessary for the progress of the country’s homeless crisis.

Census Bureau data indicated that seven homes were built on average for every 10 households formed between 2010 to 2016, the release continued, which leaves Americans with fewer housing options and more people leaving on the streets.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition issued a statement Tuesday responding to the executive order with a warning.

“The council, made up of the [s]ecretaries of Treasury, Labor, Agriculture and the [Environmental Protection Agency], will likely work to remove important federal regulations that protect fair wages, fair housing, the environment, and more, and not the restrictive local zoning over which the federal government has very little control,” it read.

Other groups combatting homelessness like the Coalition for the Homeless and the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) have a more positive outlook on the new council.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Michael Ferrell, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless, told the DCNF. “For a long time, housing has not been a part of the national agenda. Even with HUD, in the last 20 years, housing on a national level really hasn’t been a focus.”

“I’d like to believe this particular council will live beyond the Trump administration,” he added.

NAEH issued a Wednesday statement saying the alliance “is pleased that the Trump administration has acknowledged the need to act on the nation’s affordable housing crisis. The lack of affordable housing has a crippling effect on the nation’s well-being and is the primary cause of homelessness. … We applaud efforts to remove unnecessary, ill-advised, and discriminatory regulations.”

A total of 552,830 people — or an average of 17 out of every 10,000 — experienced homelessness on a single night in the U.S. in 2018. Of that total, 67% are individuals experiencing homelessness while 33% are families, according to a HUD report.

“With the signing of today’s Executive Order, President Trump is prescribing a powerful treatment that correctly diagnoses the source of America’s affordable housing condition: this is a matter of supply and demand, and we have to increase the supply of affordable homes by changing the cost side of the equation,” Carson said in a statement. “Increasing the supply of housing by removing overly burdensome rules and regulations will reduce housing costs, boost economic growth, and provide more Americans with opportunities for economic mobility.”

Former President Barack Obama issued a “Housing Development Toolkit” in 2016 calling for a similar effort to reduce expensive and time-consuming regulations to build affordable housing.

“The accumulation of such barriers — including zoning, other land use regulations, and lengthy development approval processes — has reduced the ability of many housing markets to respond to growing demand,” the toolkit reads.

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Reprinted with permission from - Daily Caller - by Audrey Conklin

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Luis Zepeda

You shouldn’t be sad for what is a good intention and idea from Mr. Trump administration. You should be sad that your compatriots can’t afford to buy a home due to a bunch if stupid and unnecessary regulations. You should be content that at least you have a president that really think, care and believe that you and me, and all of us should have better chance to opportunities that no other government official in the previous administrations have done for our citizens. Even if this look socialist to you, it is better than doing nothing and continue with the status quo of yesterday and recently today. I don’t think he ever will give up to the socialist, really core socialist-communist, ideas of the left. Brother, somebody, as him, might not be perfect in everything but is showing us that really wants to work, to reprent, and to support the… Read more »

Ronald R. Cooke

I used to be a low income and moderate income housing advocate.
I believed that the teachers, clerical personnel, first responders, municipal workers, ministers, and all other people who support the human fabric of a city should be able to live in the city where they worked.
I also believed retired people should be able to stay and live in the city where they raised their family. Housing costs should not force them out of town.
Alas. Government housing regulation was all a game of bureaucratic deception to make us believe our government (Federal, State, and Local) actually gave a darn about people with limited income. No one, it seems, wanted a low income or even a moderate income project in their neighborhood.
I gave up.
My hope is tat DJT’s efforts will ignite some positive results.

John

Sad to see “President” Trump caving to the socialist liberals by addressing this issue in any way.