Adobe Stock/f11photo

Housing affordability is plaguing the economy--high rent prices coupled with a shortage of homes put lower-income residents in a tough spot. According to the progressive policy research and advocacy organization Center for American Progress, the government should be doing more to alleviate the problem.

Fast Company's Eillie Anzilotti explains the CAP's position on the issues, which asserts that the federal government should sponsor a large-scale housing construction program to add an additional 1 million affordable units to the market over the span of five years. She writes :

The report, titled Homes for All: A Program Providing Rental Supply Where Working Families Need It Most, reads, in this political climate, as more of an exercise in magical thinking than a practical policy recommendation. Trump is extremely unlikely to authorize the $20 billion in annual funding this program would require to construct and maintain the new properties. Report author and CAP senior analyst Michela Zonta knows this. But the housing shortage in the U.S. will not disappear with a change of administration, and a report of this scope offers a sense of the magnitude of both funding and policy coordination that will be required to solve it.

The 1 million homes that CAP is recommending, Zonta says, is a conservative figure, given the immense need for affordable units, but it could create ripple effects through the market that open up other opportunities. For instance, the addition of more affordable units could influence overall market rates downward. And these new affordable units could house people currently receiving subsidies to live in pricier units, and those subsidies could shift to other rent-burdened people to allow them to live more affordably.

Read More