The United States of America is not the only country in the world with a housing crisis, but it is a country where a housing crisis has an especially dramatic impact. It is a country with over 300 million people, so any housing shortage or housing affordability crisis can have serious impacts on the general living standards of millions. That’s why social innovation hubs are looking for out-of-the-box solutions, in the hope that innovation created by American policymakers or NGOs can be replicated in other countries across the globe.
Make it Easier to Get into Construction
Budding builders who want to get into construction do not always have a clear path. Finding out how to get general contractor license depends majorly from state to state and many can feel dissuaded by the costs associated with starting off. There are solutions to this – present clear guides and digital application processes, but also get some help from the private sector. Fintech and insurance technology solutions are perfect for making it simpler to get into construction, whether that is by offering highly tailored and affordable insurance premiums or giving out loans to housing SMEs.
Remove Local, State and Federal Regulatory Barriers
Even if you are an avid neo-Keynesian, you will appreciate that it can be difficult for construction companies to maneuvre their way through the regulations preventing builds or applying friction to the construction process. There are planning codes that need to be followed to a tee, and the cost of those wanting construction work to determine if an Accessory Dwelling Unit is allowed on their property can put potential builders off. There are private sector solutions for this too, a good example being Symbium, which automates compliance with the law to make it simple for construction companies to navigate the complex world of planning codes.
Innovations to build faster with fewer costs
Companies like Billionbricks aren’t alone in their mission to provide affordable housing by using innovative methods. American companies are trying their hands at affordable housing, too. Companies like Entekra are offering supplementary technologies that can be paired with just a crane to reduce the frame building time of a house from 15 days with five workers to four days with four workers. That reduces the time spent on frame construction from 71 days to 14 days in total, saving $25,000 on average. By reducing the manpower needed to construct a house in this way, houses can be a more attractive project to investors and can be built and therefore offered more affordably.
Crowdfunding has become an unlikely hero in the housing crisis in America, with several companies using crowdfunding to find investors and help future home buyers at the same time. Home buyers can use gifts from families and friends to help with the down payment on a home. Other projects, like Small Change in Pittsburgh, connect investors with developers – any US adult can invest in community-centric affordable housing projects that can deliver them a future return.