From the US Treasury Department:
The labor and housing crises in this country are deeply inter-connected. Since their peak level at the beginning of 2006, housing starts have fallen almost 80 percent. Houses currently under construction are at a 13-year low, down more than 60 percent from the peak in the first quarter of 2006. This collapse has led to severe job losses in the residential building and specialty trades sector related to housing, with employment down by nearly one-third -- a loss of over one million jobs. Such losses not only indicate significant problems in the residential construction sector, but also suggest that the need for affordable housing has risen markedly during the recession.
In response, the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have been implementing new efforts designed to help families while providing important assistance to homebuilders. Specifically, Treasury has launched an innovative program that will provide more than $3 billion from the Recovery Act to put people to work building quality, affordable housing for individuals and families affected by the current crisis.
Here is how the funds have been distributed so far:
Let's hope the development contracts will go through a fair bidding process. Let's also hope the states do a better job with affordable housing than they did in the 70s.