During yesterday’s Senate Banking Committee hearing, Senator Reverend Warnock pushed Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to account for hardworking Georgians who are struggling to secure affordable housing
Senator Reverend Warnock: “I just hope that the Fed will think more about its actions and how they affect housing supply even as it attempts to control housing demand”
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), a member of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, pushed Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to assist hardworking Georgians who are struggling to secure affordable housing across the state as the Fed considers raising interest rates.
“It doesn’t do families any good if we stabilize housing prices, while mortgage rates continue to skyrocket,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “It doesn’t matter to me why a house is unaffordable, maybe the house is unaffordable, maybe the mortgage is unaffordable: unaffordable is unaffordable.”
[Watch the Senator’s full remarks HERE.]
The cost of rent skyrocketed. Since 2019, Georgia renters have faced a 24% increase in median rents, the 6th highest rate in the country and far exceeding income growth over the same period. More and more Georgians are paying a substantial proportion of their hard-earned income on rent, forcing many to pick between paying for rent or other essentials such as food or prescription drugs. As housing has become increasingly unaffordable, more prospective homeowners are forced to remain in the renters market, increasing rent prices further. Further, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes are making it more expensive for new housing stock to be constructed, which will lead to further pressure on prices for years to come.
Since joining the Senate, Senator Warnock has worked diligently to address Georgia’s affordable housing crisis. In December 2021, Senator Warnock secured funding to upgrade affordable housing for low-income Georgians in rural areas. Last May, Senator Warnock secured $170 million in federal housing investments for Georgia. In February, Senator Warnock announced he secured $78 million in federal housing investments into Georgia. Additionally, Senator Warnock joined a bipartisan cohort of senators to re-introduce the Choice in Affordable Housing Act, which seeks to improve the federal government’s largest rental assistance program. The recipient of the 2022 Affordable Housing Award from the Southeastern Affordable Housing Management Association (SAHMA), Senator Warnock also previously introduced robust legislative packages that would lower housing costs and help homebuyers, as well as combat skyrocketing housing costs for military servicemembers and their families, respectively.
Watch video of the Senator’s full remarks HERE.
Read key excerpts of the Senator’s remarks below:
“It doesn’t do families any good if we stabilize housing prices, while mortgage rates continue to skyrocket—it doesn’t matter to me why a house is unaffordable, maybe the house is unaffordable, maybe the mortgage is unaffordable: unaffordable is unaffordable.”
“The Federal Reserve does not control housing supply, but its actions do have a massive effect on housing supply. And some of these supply effects it seems to me will be felt for many years well beyond when interest rate hikes have slowed or rates have even gone down.”
“I just hope that the Fed will think more about its actions and how they affect housing supply even as it attempts to control housing demand.”