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Is America Facing An Affordable Housing Crisis? 


If you pay enough attention to real estate news online, you’ll undoubtedly hear references to the “Housing Crisis in America.” Precisely what this means depends on whom you ask. However, people certainly had the housing market on their minds even before the coronavirus pandemic threw rent and mortgage payments into disarray. 

So is there anything to worry about over housing? And, more importantly, is there anything that can be done about it? This piece will explain what people mean when referring to the housing crisis. It will also cover some of the solutions people are coming up with for affordable housing, including ADU homes and tiny home communities. 

What Counts as a “Housing Crisis”?

Many people scoff at the very idea of a housing crisis, given how much construction is going on in their area. It is true that it’s more accurate to describe the issue as an “affordable housing crisis.”

Essentially, this means that it is increasingly difficult for Americans to own their own homes, alongside there being a nationwide shortage of available homes to buy. The housing market in the United States is more competitive than ever right now. While this is a good thing for realtors, housing prices are starting to soar and is not ideal for the average person trying to get into the housing market. 

This means that many Americans are simply deciding to rent, with the amount of Americans going for this option climbing steadily, over owning. However, in many areas, even renting is becoming challenging to manage. 

The upshot is that more Americans have to spend more of their annual income on rent. The homeless population across America also increased due to the lack of affordable housing. 

What’s Causing This?

As with anything relating to the wider economy, there is no easy answer for why the costs of homes and rent are increasing. Usually, a shortage of housing is caused by a booming population, but that’s not an issue across all of the United States. 

Instead, it seems that part of the issue lies with the fact that old houses that are being torn down are not being replaced with enough new housing options. In particular, there’s a severe lack of new affordable housing.

Exactly why this is the case depends on your area. In many places, it is because of restrictive zoning laws which can increase the price of construction. California is an example of an American state where zoning laws have made the price of housing go truly crazy places, especially in cities like San Francisco. 

In many communities, it is the existing homeowners who do their best to stall new developments. Most property owners would prefer there be a low supply of housing in their area to boost the prices of their property. Some homeowners may also be suspicious of any “affordable” housing being constructed in their community, believing that it poorer neighbors – a classic example of American “Nimbyism.” 

What are the Solutions?

The most direct solutions to rent prices issues have been to directly attack high rents. These solutions could include rent control and penalties for landlords who evict their tenants. These solutions are reasonable for avoiding the worst-case scenarios for affordable housing but don’t address the root problem.

More daunting is making sure that there are more homes in American cities. While many communities are pushing for higher densification, trying to battle entrenched zoning laws can often be an uphill battle. In America, the construction of public housing has a bit of a bad reputation. People mainly associated it with failed projects and urban decay rather than as a successful way to reduce the housing burden in cities. 

Alternative Housing

All this high-level government planning might be interesting, but it’s not very helpful for people who want to own their own homes. It’s also not so useful for landlords who wish to help provide lower-cost renting but can’t afford to do so.

Enter the world of alternative housing. This is where creative solutions are devised to let average Americans own their own home or provide a low-cost renting experience. Alternative homes can take a variety of forms.

The most extreme are certainly things like tiny home communities, which have taken off as an online phenomenon. There are other options as well. Many cities encourage constructing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on existing properties. These allow for more significant densification while letting a property owner make some money on rent.

Sometimes the best solutions are old ones. Mobile homes used to provide an affordable way to construct new housing, as the houses could be built within controlled facilities and then later assembled on site. 

Mobile homes, however, were often associated with cheap construction. Today, modern manufactured homes and modular homes fill the same role but with much higher construction standards. Buying a manufactured home, or paying a modular home cost, is significantly more affordable than getting an “on-site” constructed home. However, modern manufactured and modular homes can also be just as luxurious as those “on-site” homes. 

Insuring Your Alternate Homes

Some buyers worry about investing in alternative homes because of worries about insurance. Getting home insurance, renters insurance, or landlord insurance for ADU homes or other alternative homes can sometimes be challenging. It often depends on where in the country you are looking to purchase your new house. 

Thankfully, with Covertree, you never have to worry about the difficulties of specialty insurance. We give easy insurance for ADU homes, tiny homes, and more! All it takes is three minutes and three questions, and then you’re good to go. That way, you can focus more on getting an affordable house that you love and less worrying about the housing crisis.

Thankfully, with Covertree home insurance, you never have to worry about the difficulties of specialty insurance. We help you easily qualify for speciality insurance for ADU homes, tiny homes, and more!

 All it takes is three minutes and three questions. That way you can focus more on getting an affordable house that you love, and less worrying about the housing crisis. 

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