New task force launched to address housing affordability and stability

District 7 Pinellas County Commissioner Rene Flowers has been appointed to the National Association of Counties Housing Task Force, comprised of more than 30 county leaders across the United States.

PINELLAS COUNTY – District 7 Pinellas County Commissioner Rene Flowers has been appointed to the National Association of Counties (NACo) Housing Task Force, comprised of over 30 county leaders 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 supporting 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
  • Competing public, private and community interests and incentives

“It is most unfortunate that we have not been able to find a solution to the housing crisis that continues to grow each year. The rate at which costs exceed earnings is becoming unfathomable. It is my desire that this group, operating from a national perspective, will be able to find solutions that can be implemented throughout our country,” stated Commissioner Rene Flowers.

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
  • 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 and produce original research to examine the role of county governments in providing residents with more housing, a greater variety of housing and better housing affordability and value.

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

About The National Association of Counties

The National Association of Counties strengthens America’s counties, including nearly 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees. Founded in 1935, NACo unites county officials to advocate for county government priorities in federal policymaking, promote exemplary county policies and practices, nurture leadership skills and expand knowledge networks, optimize county and taxpayer resources and cost savings and enrich the public’s understanding of county government.

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