The American dream of owning a home is falling out of reach for many in our state. Home prices continue to rise in North Carolina as we lag pre-recession levels of new construction. Simultaneously, our state welcomed over 100,000 new residents just last year. Both current residents and newcomers to North Carolina will face hardships in affording starter homes or upgrading homes as family needs change, unless reform happens. That reform needs to focus on allowing more homes, and homes of a different variety, to be built. 

A review of available data illustrates the case for why we need to build more homes. It also provides a cautionary tale of how other states have failed in this policy area. Lawmakers and local leaders can look to California to see the fate of a state that doesn’t allow supply to match demand. Our state is in a similar position to California’s a few decades ago: steady economic growth and a mass influx of new residents. After years of failing to allow enough housing to be built, California’s housing market has priced out many of its residents, who are now fleeing to lower-cost states.