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Republicans push for reducing regulatory costs to tackle affordable housing crisis

Republicans push for reducing regulatory costs to tackle affordable housing crisis
© Kyo H. Nam

Republicans at the state and federal level are pushing for lower costs associated with regulations as a way to address the nation’s affordable housing crisis.

Rep. Ralph NormanRalph Warren NormanHillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it House rebuffs GOP lawmaker's effort to remove references to Democrats in Capitol MORE (R-S.C.) and North Carolina state Sen. Paul Newton (R) highlighted regulations at a forum last week in Charlotte, N.C., hosted by The Hill, arguing that cutting those costs, while creating more sustainable housing, would help with homeowner stability.

“Cut these regulations, and you may need to add some where they make sense,” Norman said at the forum sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders.

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Newton criticized the allocation of federal funding to local governments, saying it “goes to the most burdensome regulatory environments,” which he said affects affordable housing overall.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE’s fiscal 2021 budget proposal, released earlier this month, would reduce funding for housing programs by about 15 percent. Housing advocates say low-income households would be hit hardest under that scenario, but the budget cuts are likely to be dismissed by Congress.

Rep. Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsRecord number of Black women elected to Congress in 2020 Armed Trump supporter arrested at North Carolina polling place From HBCUs to Capitol Hill: How Congress can play an important role MORE (D-N.C.), who also spoke at the forum in Charlotte, emphasized the need for boosting housing inventory and strengthening partnerships between different levels of government to bring down housing costs.

“When we talk about supply and demand, you’ve got more people coming into our communities,” Adams said. “And many of those folks are at that level in terms of not being able to afford some of the properties that are being built. So, I think the partnerships have to be extended, not only with those who are building, but with our cities, with our state, and also the federal government.”

Adams is a cosponsor of the Housing Is Infrastructure Act of 2019, which focuses on developing and investing in more affordable housing. The bill, introduced in November, has 10 cosponsors.

“If you need a place to live and you can’t afford it, if we had more houses and more units than we needed here, if people don’t have the kind of income because they are not making a living wage or wages that would allow them to do it, then that becomes a problem as well,” Adams said.