Housing is a major economic factor for any region. Over the last several years, dramatically increased housing prices in New England have cast doubt on the region's ability to sustain continued economic growth. Indeed, New England's lack of affordable housing has caused labor shortages and other problems for New England businesses. With the federal government slashing its housing assistance in the 1980s, New England states and localities have started to address the region's housing problems by developing a variety of housing programs. But their resources are relatively limited and they are not able to expand the supply of affordable housing to keep pace with the needs of a growing workforce. More than any other region in the nation, New England needs the federal government to get back into the housing business to ensure the continued growth of the New England economy and a healthy business climate.

This article outlines the extent of the affordable housing problem in New England, describes state and local initiatives to ease the region's problem, and presents the kinds of federal housing policies that New England government, civic, and business leaders should be promoting to help address this deepening problem.



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