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Rethinking the Housing Affordability Crisis with Jennifer Castenson
Episode 1020th May 2024 • The Real Estate Wealth Podcast with Edward Aloe • Ed Aloe
00:00:00 00:42:43

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In this episode of the Real Estate Wealth Podcast, host Ed Aloe speaks with Jennifer Castenson Vice President of Ambassador and Industry Partner Programs at Buildxact. With a career deeply rooted in home building and remodeling, Jennifer unpacks the complexities of the current housing affordability crisis. Ed and Jennifer discuss the multifaceted nature of the issue, such as the cultural paradigms that hinder progress within the housing industry, the intricate layers of regulations, and the transformative potential of technology in construction and real estate.

Listen this week as Ed and Jennifer explore the economic and societal impacts of the affordability crisis while considering the future implications on the real estate market.


"What is holding the housing industry back from affordability is this culture we have that is an infrastructure already in place. A culture that we cannot disrupt. The minute we start trying to move that around, historically, people cannot disassociate from the meaning of that. So we have a system that relies on architects doing a certain thing. They're in their silo. We have permitting, we have local legislation, we have federal legislation. Everything has gotten so used to those parameters that we can't break through that complex culture to evolve." -Jennifer Castenson [03:30]

“There are so many people that are so dependent on paycheck to paycheck or working extra hours just to make that next house payment. That's going to be their number one priority when they go to the ballot in November. Knowing that, we should take that really seriously in the housing industry.” -Jennifer Castenson [39:25]


  • Cost and Complexity: The costs and complexities of legislation at all levels exacerbate the housing crisis, and collaboration is essential for more straightforward, more affordable solutions.
  • Technology's Role: Innovative software and tech such as Buildxact can improve efficiency by 80%, suggesting a positive outlook on tech's role in solving the industry's challenges.
  • Cultural Infrastructure: Cultural infrastructure, much like the embedded systems of utilities in homes, poses a challenge to progress. Rethinking this could lead to breakthroughs in affordability.
  • Economic Implications: Many are making significant sacrifices to afford housing, affecting their overall well-being and economic prospects, an issue gaining political traction with impending elections.
  • Global Perspectives: Looking at international approaches to housing can provide insights, though adapting them to the U.S.'s complex housing culture remains challenging.


(02:21) Understanding the Housing Affordability Crisis

(07:01) Federal Versus Local Housing Legislation Efficiency

(09:03) Debating Housing Costs, Zoning, and Rent Control

(15:53) Leveraging Technology for Efficient Home Building

(20:12) Embracing Disruptive Construction Technologies for Future Impact

(23:19) Workforce Housing

(29:56) Housing Affordability and Its Impact on Economic Disparities

(35:07) Global Approaches to Housing Affordability Challenges


Ed Aloe


Jennifer Castenson




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