By some projections, the United States will add 100 million people faster than any country on the planet except India. This translates into a net increase of about 40 million homes. This growth will occur largely in areas already challenged by declining supplies of land suitable for efficient development and shifts in demand favoring different – often higher density housing in more mixed-use configurations. The environmental implications of future growth may be significant, and there is a current debate about how to balance meeting housing growth pressures affordably and protecting the environment. Environmental mandates have proliferated and grown more important over the last two decades, but little research has been done to determine what kinds of impacts they have on the provision of affordable housing in communities across the country. Many have argued that environmental regulations have driven up the cost of housing and serve as a critical barrier to affordable housing, but there is little empirical evidence of the impact.
Department of Housing and Urban Development