Trone: Federal government must step in to increase supply of affordable housing in country

19 January 2024- Congressman David Trone (D-MD) underscored the urgent need for expanded affordable housing and federal action by Congress to increase its supply at a hearing of the Joint Economic Committee. The hearing comes just one day after the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 agreement was reached, which includes an expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. During the hearing, Trone praised the inclusion of that expanded tax credit in the agreement and discussed the need to boost housing supply across the country. 

Affordable housing is a growing concern across the country with nearly half of Americans saying that the availability of affordable housing in their local community is a major problem. In fact, in 2022, individuals earning at or below the U.S. median income could only afford to own 20 percent of all homes on the market, down from about 50 percent in 2016. 

This growing housing crisis particularly impacts Maryland, which is ranked seventh in the nation for the highest housing wage, which is calculated according to the amount per hour a state resident must earn working 40 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom housing unit at Fair Market Rent. Additionally, over the last fifteen years, Baltimore’s public housing stock has diminished by 40 percent and it’s estimated that more than 30,000 Marylanders experience homelessness every year. 

“Housing is a basic human right, yet too many American families struggle to find homes they can afford in the short and long term. While I’m glad to see some progress on this issue with the inclusion of the expanded Low-Income Housing Tax Credit in the new tax agreement, I also know that housing affordability is an issue we must address urgently and deliberately on the local, state, and federal levels,” said Congressman David Trone. “One in four people spend more than half of their income on rent, hindering their ability to save for emergencies or the future – that’s unacceptable. We must continue pushing to address our inadequate housing supply, as well as our exclusionary zone and land use laws, if we hope to once again make the American dream an attainable one.”