Nationally home builders started 876k single family homes in 2018, down from 1.72 million in 2005, the peak year for construction of new homes. New housing starts are down 49% from 2005! Why? According to the National Home Builders Association home builders have 404k job open as of April.
The slow pace of new construction for the last 7 years is a strong contributing factor to our affordable housing problems across the country. Yet, there is nearly NO focus from our government at any level on increasing supply of new homes besides heavily subsidized affordable housing.
So, how can we increase the supply of new homes being built? I strongly believe there is one BIG solution that very few people talk about. And this solution will cost much less money than heavily subsidized affordable housing. Second, my solution provides good paying jobs without having to pay $100k to go to college. Third, my solution provides a life-changing career choice for young people who often feel ostracized by society because they don’t want to go to college. Fourth, this will contribute to better mental health as people will have a rewarding job/career. Fifth, it requires them to work together with a team of people in which community and friendships can develop. Hopefully all of this will help lead to a reduction in violence committed by young men too.
What is my solution? To recruit and retain several hundred thousand people in the construction trades so that home builders can build over 1 million new homes a year and dramatically increase the supply of homes available as new supply over time will help lower home prices or at least slow the appreciation rate.
So, how do we do this? First, we need our high schools and community colleges to greatly increase the amount of educational opportunities for young people in the construction trades. Second, we need to encourage our youth to consider this option, whether that youth is your child, grandchild, nephew, niece or someone else. We need to encourage our young people to consider a career in the trades as college is not for every kid. We need to celebrate them when they choose a different career path than going to a university.
Third, I would love to see the government or organizations advertising the greatness of this career choice much like each branch of the military advertises to attract young people to their branch of the Service. Fourth, I would love to see Hollywood start showing blue collar workers in a positive light as well. These last 2 ideas would help create more interest from young people into construction trades I believe.