New Task Force of County Leaders Launched to Address Housing Affordability and Stability

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WASHINGTON — The National Association of Counties (NACo) today announced the creation of its Housing Task Force, comprised of over 30 county leaders from across the United States. The group will identify county-led solutions and innovations for addressing America’s housing affordability and stability crisis.  

“Counties are on the front lines of responding to the housing crisis,” said NACo President Denise Winfrey. “Stable, quality housing is the foundation for better health, safety, education, a strong workforce, improved financial wellness, and lower demands on the social safety net. NACo’s Housing Task Force is committed to meeting the moment and addressing our residents’ housing needs.”  

The Housing Task Force will explore intergovernmental partnerships that support housing solutions among federal, state and local officials, along with private, nonprofit, homeownership and rental partners.  

The group will examine comprehensive solutions to address the complex conditions that undermine housing affordability. Housing costs are outpacing job and wage growth in many areas, with many colliding factors, including: 

  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Labor shortages
  • Increased demand for short-term rentals
  • Land costs
  • Demographic pattern shifts due to generational population changes and economic competitiveness 
  • Institutional investors
  • Governmental policies, regulations and capacities, and
  • Competing public, private and community interests and incentives.   

“Our nation is facing a perfect storm of factors that contribute to the housing crisis,” said Task Force Co-Chair Kevin Boyce, a Franklin County, Ohio commissioner. “We are focused on addressing challenges and expanding opportunities for our residents to achieve the American dream of housing security.” 

“Government is not the solution for local housing issues but needs to be a part of the conversations surrounding how we can and should find common goals and solutions for a growing problem,” said Task Force Co-Chair Sherry Maupin, a Valley County, Idaho commissioner.  

County roles and responsibilities related to housing vary significantly across, and even within, different states. Depending on specific structures and authority, county governments can play a leading role in: 

  • Tax policies 
  • Financing and lending 
  • Down payment and closing cost assistance  
  • Building permits and code enforcement 
  • Land use and zoning
  • Infrastructure development
  • Workforce housing
  • Public safety and emergency management, and 
  • Community planning.  

Regardless of specific county functions and responsibilities, all counties have the potential to establish and enhance partnerships with public, private and nonprofit sector stakeholders. 

The Housing Task Force will host in-person and virtual meetings, as well as produce original research, to examine the role of county governments in providing residents with more housing, greater variety of housing, and better housing affordability and value.  

“Housing is an essential building block for our nation’s health, prosperity and wellbeing,” said Winfrey. “Based on our strong commitment to deliver opportunities for our residents to rise to new heights, this task force is a crucial step in pursuing local solutions at a national level.” 

Click here to see the task force members and more information.   

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