President Trump signs executive order on affordable housing

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WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – This week, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at removing barriers to affordable housing.

President Trump said the directive aims to help people meet the American Dream of home ownership. “To begin a bold new initiative to bring down the cost of housing for American families,” said President Trump.

The executive order directs agencies, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to take part in the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson said the group will examine permitting environmental and historic preservation regulations as well as other factors that could prevent developers from building more affordable homes. 

“The real problem is the zoning restrictions, the various other types of regulatory barriers which increase cost of a single family construct by 25-27 percent,” said Ben Carson.

Carson said federal leaders will work with state and local leaders to identify ways to reduce construction cost and increase the development of affordable homes.

Opponents worry the administration’s plan could hurt families by removing rules that protect fair housing. In a statement, the National Low Income Housing Coalition called the executive order “an attempt to achieve large-scale deregulation.” The organization also raised concerns about efforts to slash HUD’s budget and eliminate zoning rules that help low-income families.

The White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing will also track the effect of current regulations and make recommendations for improvements.

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