How To Make The Suburbs More Affordable



About 46% of renters in the U.S. are struggling to make ends meet, according to Harvard University researchers. Builders say conditions for renters will get worse before they get better. A snarled supply chain, a labor shortage, and rising interest rates are worsening what some call a “throwaway” development pattern. Several real estate industry experts have ideas about how to make housing more attainable. Some of the most popular ideas include mixed-use districts and master-planned communities.

Americans who are short on cash to make rent may need to face an uncomfortable reality: Conditions will likely get worse before they get better.

U.S. housing supply fell to the lowest levels observed in over 20 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s dramatically pushing up prices for consumers, and catching the attention of leaders.

“The most immediate challenge is a lack of lumber and other kinds of building materials,” says Rob Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. “The other challenge, and it’s one that’s going to be with us for some time, is a lack of skilled labor.“

Architects say better planning could ease cost burdens while shoring up public health.

“Suburban retrofitting has the potential to transform people’s lives,” said June Williamson, dean of architecture at City College of New York.

The Mosaic District of Fairfax, Virginia, is among the many “retrofitted” mixed-use districts and master-planned communities that have attracted major developers to the concept.

Correction (04/06/22): At 0:36 and 9:08, a previous version of this video misidentified June Williamson. She is chair at the school of architecture at the City College of New York.

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How To Make The Suburbs More Affordable

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