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Innovation cannot come fast enough in the housing industry at a time when the costs to deliver product are raising prices two times faster than inflation and wage growth. Here, the Sorenson Impact Center shares their initiatives, along with builder partner Ivory Homes.

Despite the relative health of the current U.S. economy, scholars, economists and middle-class Americans — once the bedrock of the housing market — are increasingly worried about the housing affordability crisis that continues to crop up across the nation. Children who watched their parents experience anxiety over their retirement savings in the 2008 financial crisis are now experiencing anxiety themselves over whether or not they will be able to afford their own future.

One developer, Clark Ivory, CEO of Utah-based Ivory Homes said of the difference between the 2008 housing crisis and the current predicament, “Aside from the undersupply of housing, today’s affordability crisis is not necessarily putting our financial markets at risk. But it is putting millions of families and individuals at risk.” He went on to describe a millennial engineering student he had met recently who was living out of a car because he couldn’t afford both rent and school.

While the millennial generation represents the largest segment of U.S. homebuyers, they still lag behind benchmarks set by previous generations at their age. Not only do these new households face a shortage of housing supply, but they also grapple with crushing student debt and an unpromising wage outlook. As Nelson Schwartz of the New York Times wrote, “Ten years after the financial crisis, getting ahead by going to work every day seems quaint, akin to using the phone book to find a number or renting a video at Blockbuster.”

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