As Nicole Friedman explains in The Wall Street Journal, the housing crisis can be understood as a 20-year-old supply-and-demand problem:
Between 1968 and 2000, the United States built an average of about 1.5 million new housing units every year. But in the past two decades, in part because of a slowdown during the Great Recession, the country has added only 1.225 million new housing units every year.
Today, the country is 6.8 million units short of what was needed to meet new housing needs and to replace units that were aging or destroyed by natural disasters.
The upshot: Between 2001 and 2019, median rents rose faster than median renter incomes in nearly every state, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In only 7 percent of counties can a minimum-wage worker afford a one-bedroom rental.
America’s Housing Crisis Is a Choice