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Lobbyists representing groups in the housing industry are urging Congress and the White House to intervene to spur more home construction and boost affordability as housing demand worsens in response to rising interest rates and high prices. According to a Politico article, advocates are pushing lawmakers to act before the end of the year. National Housing Conference president and CEO David Dworkin says any bipartisan efforts must happen during “this lame-duck session,” or actions will not happen.

For now, housing advocates are holding their fire when it comes to the Fed. But they’re growing steadily more frustrated that their pleas are not gaining traction on the Hill.

“The most bipartisan issue facing any Congress ever is housing,” said Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders. “This Congress and prior Congresses should be embarrassed.”

Making a real dent in the crisis would require a boost in the supply of homes to help relieve pressure on prices and spur more activity in the market – and that would require new investment from Congress, according to advocates, lobbyists and administration officials.

Administration officials said the White House has taken regulatory steps to encourage more construction but that significant headway would require more funding from Congress and zoning reforms at the state and local levels to remove some of the price pressures on new development. The Biden administration backs two bipartisan bills that would expand tax breaks for developers of affordable housing.

“At the end of the day this requires resources,” said a White House official who requested anonymity to speak about interactions with the housing lobby and Congress. “This is a resource problem where the solutions are definitely clear, and it’s why congressional action is certainly important.”

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