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Despite the recent drop in house prices, too much of America's housing remains unaffordable to the ordinary homebuyer. While genuine poverty accounts for some of the problem, even middle-class Americans--especially along the country’s east and west coasts--are suffering from extraordinarily high home prices that have resulted from the combination of robust demand and limited new construction.
Can the federal government help? In Rethinking Federal Housing Policy: How to Make Housing Plentiful and Affordable (AEI Press, 2008), Edward L. Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko argue for a flexible approach to policy that discourages artificial restrictions on housing supply, grants resources to the poor that give them mobility to pursue maximum opportunity, and acknowledges the vast regional differences in the American housing market.
The authors will be joined by Alice Rivlin, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the first director of the Congressional Budget Office, and John Weicher, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former assistant secretary for housing and federal housing commissioner at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. AEI's Henry Olsen will moderate.