For decades, Washington’s response to housing challenges has simply been more spending. We need to end this cycle and stop spinning our wheels. While the trillions spent on numerous federal housing programs were well intended, the net result has made no meaningful and lasting impact on homeownership rates. Especially as we see burdensome regulations push closing costs higher and higher, making the path to homeownership more difficult. For African American families in particular, the homeownership rate remains unchanged since 1968, the year the Fair Housing Act was signed into law. For too long assistance programs have served as subsistence programs for the most vulnerable Americans.
It’s past time to rethink the tax-and-spend strategies that keep families trapped in generational cycles of poverty and find real solutions to meaningfully impact all households—breaking the cycle. Government must begin responsibly helping families rather than doubling down on programs that fail to generate results. We need to leverage the successes of American capitalism by encouraging private investment in the housing sector and eliminating needless barriers that artificially restrict supply. And most importantly, we should remember that effective housing policy is driven by communities—it is critically important the federal government encourages local solutions to uniquely local problems. These ideas are common sense and shouldn’t be controversial. I sincerely believe Republicans and Democrats should be able to find common ground on many of these important matters that impact the American people. I thank Chairman Brown for working together on building this consensus panel.