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The theme for this year's HIVE conference is Reignite the Dream: Affordability for Purpose and Profit and calls on leaders in the housing industry to collaborate, take risks and identify future strategies to create more housing that is more affordable for more people. Here, a similar group, Up for Growth, is launching campaigns with the same goal in mind and here's their approach.

For all the national focus on the increasing cost of healthcare, gas, and Amazon prime memberships, by far the largest share of Americans' paychecks goes toward housing.

Though housing costs have eased slightly over the past year, they dramatically outpaced inflation over the past decade.

Buyers and renters don't have much choice than to pay more: Low-end apartment vacancy rates are as low as they've been since 2001, as developers have piled into the higher-margin luxury market. That creates a drag on economic growth, since job-seekers can't afford to live close enough to where they could find the best work.

About a quarter of average household income in 2016 was used to pay rent or a mortgage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Housing prices have risen 38% more than inflation since the end of the last recession in 2009.

Meanwhile, federal housing subsidy programs have stagnated, and the federal agencies that back up most of the American mortgage market have been in conservatorship ever since the financial crisis left them insolvent in 2008.

In the face of Congressional inaction, developers, affordable housing groups and the tech industry are backing a public relations and lobbying campaign to try to drag housing issues onto the national stage.

"This is something that now feels very much like a crisis moment," says Ali Solis, the president of Make Room, a two-year-old group that advocates for renters. "The bottom line is, there needs to be a full commitment from the president down to the city council level to come together and made housing a national priority."

What can the federal government do?

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