Economic Policy Review
Housing Affordability: Recommendations for New Research to Guide Policy
Volume 24, Number 3
December 2018

JEL classification: H1, H2, R21, R3, R52

Author: Jane Dokko

This article highlights areas where economic research is needed to guide federal policymakers addressing the challenge of improving housing affordability. The author places these research recommendations in the framework of five key issues, reflecting policymakers’ need to identify a rationale for government action; to employ a single, clear measure to gauge affordability; to understand the unintended consequences of current housing policies; to ensure that the political environment is considered when developing policy; and to decide whether to use housing finance reform as a means of achieving housing affordability. New research in these areas would reduce uncertainty in policy design choices, strengthen the evidence base on effective policy interventions, help policymakers evaluate risks, and make salient the trade-offs between different policy objectives.

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AUTHOR DISCLOSURE STATEMENT(S)
Jane Dokko
The author declares that she has no relevant or material financial interests that relate to the research described in this paper.