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Social Welfare Group Pushes for Immediate Pro-Housing Policy

Housing equality—along with vanquishing systemic barriers and the creation of additional homes—is front and center for a campaign called Up for Growth Action, a 501(c)(4) federal pro-housing legislative advocacy campaign pushing for pro-housing policies at the federal level, according to Upforgrowth.org.

Up for Growth Action is unique, according to its operators, in that it is the lone federal advocacy campaign that hones in exclusively on toppling obstacles to affordable and market-rate housing. The initiative is specifically aimed at exclusionary zoning and discriminatory land-use policies that exacerbate the country’s 7.3-million-home shortage.

Escalating income inequality, which stands in the way of widespread access to quality and affordable housing, coupled with a profound shortage of homes—both of which require proactive legislative solutions—are spurring America’s housing crisis. The focus of Up for Growth Action is policies paving the way for communities to create housing integral to meeting the country’s 7.3 million-home shortage, as ascertained by the organization’s research.

“Whether it’s the millions of Americans who have fallen behind on rent during the pandemic, or the millions more who were already struggling to cover the cost of housing prior to COVID-19, housing was on the ballot on November 3,” said Mike Kingsella, executive director of Up for Growth Action. The next Congress and new Administration cannot afford to ignore the immediate and long-term challenges of housing in the United States because we have a housing shortage that affects nearly every aspect of Americans' lives, he continued.

While Up for Growth Action hasn’t been around long, it has been active, boasting progress toward enacting its legislative agenda. Earlier in the year, with no dissent, the Yes In My Backyard Act passed the U.S. House.

Several housing advocates recommend policies that could make a difference when it comes to the issue of "housing underproduction," on which the Up For Growth organization published an extensive study. Said investigation showed "nearly every corner of the country bears part of the burden for the national 7.3 million home shortage." In other words, it does not matter whether they looked at rural or urban areas, the "crisis" can be felt all across America.

Up For Growth author Mike Kingsella interviewed several member-experts from smaller cities about the housing challenges they've seen and what policies, if enacted, would make the biggest positive difference.

"Though they represent different types of communities located hundreds of miles apart, some similarities in their experiences emerge," wrote Kingsella.  For example, two interviewees indicated that "various local, state, and federal tax incentives or programs are not currently geared to create affordable housing options in their communities. [Another] shared that zoning restrictions are making it harder to build the housing needed to keep up with housing demand ..."

About Author: Chuck Green

Chuck Green has contributed to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and others covering various industries, including real estate, business and banking, technology, and sports.

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