It is no secret that the United States is in a housing crisis. New York City and Los Angeles - famously known for their steep rents - are no longer the only cities that are too expensive for the average American. Mortgage rates are at decade high levels and inflation is at a whopping 8.5%, which doesn't make securing a rental or home any easier. In fact, average home prices across the country increased by a whopping 15.5% nationwide since last year. To put it simply: the housing market in the United States is unsustainable, and something needs to change.
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Research has repeatedly found that every single state in the country lacks decent affordable housing. While costs have dramatically increased, working peoples' wages have stayed the same, leaving families across the country asking: where is the extra money for rent supposed to come from?
On top of that, Wall Street is taking clear advantage of the crisis. Journalists have found that predatory companies like Zillow are literally buying up starter homes and immediately ramping up the prices to make a profit, pricing even upper-middle class buyers out of their first-time home purchases. This is a greedy profit-scheme to make money for the wealthiest Americans while the rest of us suffer.
The Biden Administration unveiled the Housing Supply Action Plan in an attempt to tackle an extremely competitive housing market where working people keep getting priced out of home ownership. As White House economist Jared Bernstein noted, however, the administration's plans to increase housing supply must be coupled with comprehensive federal legislation. In other words, Biden's actions are a step in the right direction, but we must urge Congress to act, too.
Housing is a human right, and yet the overwhelming majority of Americans are struggling to make rent or mortgage payments. Congress is elected to pass legislation to fix problems just like this one - so why haven't they done anything yet? It's time we put pressure on our elected officials to do their job and pass affordable housing legislation immediately!