Trump signs executive order to tackle lack of affordable housing

Establishes council to eliminate barriers to development

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that establishes a White House Council tasked with identifying and removing barriers hindering the development of affordable housing.

In effect, he is “tearing down red tape in order to build more affordable housing,” a White House release said.

The council will comprise members of eight federal agencies and be chaired by Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. Its creation will “streamline interagency processes and deliver results even faster,” the White House said.

This will require the council to meet with state and local leaders to identify issues impeding the development of affordable housing, and to assess the impact of state, federal and local regulations on the cost of such development.

Among the specific issues the council will aim to tackle include ways to cut excessive costs in order to spur construction.

According to the White House, many of the markets that suffer the most from a lack of affordable housing have the most restrictive state and local regulations. More than a quarter of the cost of building a new home is a direct result of regulation, the White House said, and this is has slowed the pace of single-family and multifamily construction so that it cannot keep up with new household formations.

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