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Fry presents on housing affordability and labor force participation

The Idaho Policy Institute Interim Director Vanessa Fry gave a presentation entitled “Practical and Innovative Solutions to Address the Housing Affordability Crisis” at the Council of State Governments West’s 75th annual meeting.

State and local officials across the country have been getting increased pressure from their constituents demanding action on the issue of housing affordability, as it has become one of the biggest challenges facing urban and rural areas. This has resulted in a variety of initiatives, including increased funding for more affordable housing, regulation reform to allow for more housing, and funding to provide services for those hurt most by the lack of affordability, Fry said. Her interactive session focused on practical and innovative solutions that state and local governments have taken and also discussed the ongoing challenges to addressing affordable housing needs.

Fry also facilitated a discussion entitled “Demystifying Labor Force Participation” with economist Chris Chmura for the Association for University Business and Economic Research.

The discussion covered the lower labor participation rate seen since early 2020. There have been a variety of factors that have contributed to this decline, the panelists said. Chmura analyzed what has happened to the labor force and explained the decreasing labor force participation rate by demographics, while Fry discussed ways to bring people back to work.