Over the past decade, housing costs in the United States have risen faster than incomes. While housing affordability has long been a problem for low-income families, middle-income families are increasingly facing affordability challenges, especially in urban areas with strong labor markets. How do current housing policies help – or harm – the well-being of middle-class families?
On May 8, Brookings’s Future of the Middle Class Initiative and the Center on Regulation and Markets hosted an event to explore how policy can help reduce housing stress on the middle class. The event started with the presentation of a new report by Brookings Fellow Jenny Schuetz. California State Senator Scott Wiener, sponsor of Senate Bill 50, also known as the “More Homes Act,” gave the keynote address. Expert panels then discussed zoning reforms and tax policies related to housing.