Gathering information about the limited market for attainable and affordable housing was the goal of a public hearing with the House of Representatives Urban Affairs Committee last week in Harrisburg.
Information presented by industry experts will be used to potentially craft legislative proposals to increase access and/or development of attainable, affordable and work force housing.
PAR Legislative Committee Chair Will Clauss represented the association’s 40,000 Realtors® and presented information about the housing market and challenges homebuyers are facing. Clauss addressed the hurdles first-time homebuyers face when entering the market, with limited inventory, higher home prices and rising mortgage interest rates.
“It is woefully clear that we have underbuilt homes over the past decade and researchers report the entire country has a shortage of about five million homes,” he said. “Inventory is at a critical level and we can’t let red tape further strangle developers’ ability to build homes. Restrictive zoning laws and ordinances have raised the cost of developing land and building new homes. Supply chain issues and rising costs overall have actually disincentivized the development of workforce housing.”
He went on to say, “Pennsylvania Realtors® see all of these challenges first hand and empathize with our clients as they struggle with finding housing that’s affordable for them. Our organization is committed to helping find a solution.”
Other organizations testifying included: Pennsylvania Developers’ Council, Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Housing Authority of Monroe County, Pocono Mountains United Way, Housing Development Corporation MidAtlantic, Presbyterian Senior Living, Landis Quality Living, Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council, Urban League of Philadelphia and Volunteers of America Pennsylvania.