Last week, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, who happens to be running for president in 2024, posted on X sharing his idea for alleviating the U.S. housing affordability crisis. 

His idea? Tax-free, government-backed 3% mortgage bonds. 

While lower mortgage rates are always desired, if rates are artificially lowered—and lowered dramatically—home prices would start climbing to meet the sharp increase in buyer demand. 

And we’ve already seen what kind of housing market that creates. 

The main problem with RFK Jr’s idea

The big thing here is, as rates come down, you will see home values go up. Buyers will return to the market to take advantage of those lower rates. Competition will go way up. And since inventory is still low, prices on available homes will increase. 

Even if more sellers list their homes to take advantage of the increased buyer competition, inventory will have a hard time keeping up with demand. 

Looking at it historically, programs that try to move the bottom up haven’t worked. Creating more inventory from the top down is actually a better plan for creating affordability. 

I would be thinking of what Mayor Eric Adams is trying to do—create 100,000 more units in New York City with a “City of Yes” proposal. I’d also be thinking of what Governor Ron DeSantis did earlier in the year, investing hundreds of millions of dollars into Florida housing affordability. Love him or hate him, he’s one of the first governors to take a step like that. These plans may not be perfect, but at least they are working toward creating more inventory. 

We saw what has happened in the last couple of years on 3% mortgages. This is not the solution. 

Comments on the RFK Jr Tweet

Commenters on X had plenty to say about RFK Jr’s idea for fixing the housing affordability crisis. And the majority of them were less than impressed. 

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That said, there were a few comments in favor of RFK Jr’s idea: 

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Logan Mohtashami’s response Tweet

HousingWire’s lead analyst, Logan Mohtashami, posted his response to RFK Jr’s idea in two colorful emojis and one word: “No!” 

Most of the comments on his post would seem to agree (with a few exceptions): 

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Ultimately, there isn’t a whole lot of confidence in the government’s ability to fix the housing affordability mess. For some, any solution that could reduce costs in the short-term sounds like it’s “worth a try.” Others are looking further ahead and seeing more pain and suffering as a result of a well-intentioned but ill-advised policy. 

What we can hope for, regardless of the outcome of next year’s election, is that president-hopefuls will find and listen to the right advisors and create policies with the long view in mind.