Construction and Development Issues Take Focus at Latest Housing Supply Accelerator Convening

The Housing Supply Accelerator is a joint partnership between APA and the National League of Cities (NLC) to improve local capacity, identify critical solutions, and refine processes that enable communities and developers to work together to produce, preserve, and provide a diverse range of quality housing.

Over the year, APA and NLC will host three convenings will be held to explore construction and development, finance; and zoning and regulatory reform — three drivers of the nation's worsening housing shortage. Convenings are held to help members of the steering committee engage with key industry stakeholders to identify opportunities and obstacles that can hinder the development of the nation's housing supply.

The steering committee, along with core, regional, and national stakeholders, convened in Chicago in May to dive into construction and development.

Fostering Partnerships to Tackle the Housing Crisis

The recent convening of the Housing Supply Accelerator brought nonprofit, for-profit, and mission-driven developers into a conversation with the steering committee about the critical issues and ideas impacting the construction and development of the nation's housing supply. A key takeaway from the conversation was the need for greater public-private partnerships to help address the national housing crisis.

Some areas of opportunity discussed during the convening include:

  • Engagement
    • Improve community engagement by working early, often, and authentically before the start of a project.
  • Improve processes
    • Streamline the development process to reduce production time.
    • Use the strengths of cities to facilitate more than regulate.
    • Remove the political risk for development.
  • Innovation
    • Rethink how houses are built across the country.
    • Bring down predevelopment soft costs.
    • Address workforce shortages experienced today but also awareness about future workforce shortages.

Convening participants agreed that often developers and local government misunderstand each other. This presents an opportunity for both local government and developers to work together to improve communication. Additionally, there remain barriers to entry for developers that need to be addressed.

Program Partners Join Housing Discussion

Three Chicago-area developers shared examples of new developments that addressed critical housing needs in the city's south and west side neighborhoods.

Following the convening, all participants agreed that further exploration is necessary on labor and workforce issues as those can both significantly impact housing production. A working group of steering committee members with expertise in this area are continuing their work throughout the summer.

Special thanks to our program partners for joining the convening, including the National Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders, Mortgage Banker Association; and representatives from national organizations including Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and Smart Growth America.

The next convening will be held in Tacoma, Washington, and will focus on finance. Follow along for updates on Twitter using #housingsupplyaccelerator.

Top Image: Members of the Housing Supply Accelerator met in Chicago to discuss construction and development as it relates to the nation's housing supply. Photo by Mike Johnson.

About the author
Roberta Rewers is APA's senior communications manager.

June 21, 2023

By Roberta Rewers