By Christine Cube
On Monday, November 6, the National Institute of Building Sciences will host a day-long public hearing to discuss the state of housing affordability and solutions to bring down the high cost of housing for middle- and working-class Americans.
The public hearing will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. It will examine the causes of the major increases in cost for homes, what builders are seeing and hearing from customers and stakeholders, and explore possible cutting-edge and underutilized solutions from the materials sector that may help bring down costs.
Event speakers include Robert Dietz, PhD, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing, National Association of Home Builders; Chris Herbert, PhD, Managing Director, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University; Eric Werling, Building America National Director, Building Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy; Ivan Rupnik, Founding Partner, MOD X & Associate Professor, Northeastern University; Solomon Greene, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Tyler Pullen, Senior Technical Advisor, Terner Center for Housing Innovation, UC Berkeley & The Housing Lab; and Yonah Freemark, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute.
There are two options to attend the hearing – virtually or in-person. Lunch will be provided for in-person attendees.
The hearing will have three sessions: The State of Housing Affordability, Examining Solutions – Innovation and Best Practices, and Construction Means and Methods. Sessions will be livestreamed to the NIBS Facebook page. Session moderators include Brian Pallasch, EVP & CEO, International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants; Thomas W. Smith III, ENV SP, CAE, F.ASCE, CEO, American Society of Civil Engineers; and Vicki Worden, President & CEO, Green Building Initiative.
Affordable housing generally is defined as housing where the occupant pays no more than 30 percent of gross income for housing costs, including utilities.
According to Pew Research Center, a rising share of Americans say the availability of affordable housing is a major problem in their local community. In October 2021, about half of Americans (49 percent) said this was a major problem where they live, up 10 percentage points from early 2018.