More than a decade ago, the United States experienced what many economists consider the most serious financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression. The bursting of the housing bubble in 2007 exacerbated the already rising default rates on subprime and adjustable-rate mortgages and ushered in a collapse of the financial markets in 2008. Some people lost their homes, their life savings or their livelihoods; some lost everything.
Despite our country’s slow emergence from the Great Recession’s hangover, we remain in the midst of a dire housing crisis. The crisis of today is one of relative simplicity compared with 2008, but, despite its simplicity, it has become so entrenched in our nation’s “housing culture” that it has persisted unaddressed, but not unnoticed, for decades and could arguably have greater short-term and long-term impacts on our local, regional, state and national economies, if left alone: Over the past several decades, locally enacted barriers to the construction of for-sale and rental housing have intensified to the point that our communities continue to have a drastic shortage of housing at a diversity of price points.
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