In the media

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Our research is regularly cited in national and local news outlets; below is some of our recent press coverage.

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Here’s why FEMA has spent about $4 billion to help destroy flood-prone homes

“We’re talking about a crisis of affordability in housing across the country, combined with the crisis of the climate change effects. How do we ensure that we provide for our population while making sure that they’re not in harm’s way?” asked Carlos Martín, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

The New York Times

Aging in Place, or Stuck in Place?

The proportion of older adults with mortgage debt has been rising for decades. From 1989 to 2022, the share of homeowners aged 65 to 79 with mortgages climbed to 41 percent from 24, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The amount they owed rose, too, to $110,000 from $21,000, adjusted for inflation.

The Wall Street Journal

This Could Be the Year the Home-Improvement Boom Fizzles Out. Here's Why.

Americans are expected to spend $449 billion this year on home renovations and repairs, down from last year's record of $481 billion. That is according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, which was developed by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The Wall Street Journal

Boomers Bought Up the Big Homes. Now They’re Not Budging

Smaller properties with amenities that might appeal to older homeowners, such as no stairs and close proximity to services, are scarce in many areas, said Jennifer Molinsky, director of the Housing an Aging Society program at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. The ones that do exist can be expensive, she said.

Dallas Morning News

A pair of new books show a way forward for urban housing

In addition to a portfolio of innovative projects, The State of Housing Design addresses concepts including disguised or “gentle” density — that is, building more housing that respects neighborhood context — and communal development that together can redirect current design practice.

The New York Times

As Gen X-ers Inch Toward Retirement, They’re Considering Where to Live

The desire to grow older in one’s own home — rather than having to move in with family or to a retirement home — is common among many generations. In 2021, 88 percent of older adults, defined as people at least 65 years old, lived in their own home, according to a report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.


Political Leaders Are Finally Responding to the Housing Crisis. They Need to Move Faster.

It’s striking how quickly the affordability crisis has gotten worse, as the pandemic and remote work have shifted where people live and what type of home they’re looking for. Median home prices have surged across the country in comparison to median household income — you can toggle this timelapse from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and see for yourself. Estimates of how many more housing units we need nationwide vary, but finance giant Freddie Mac puts it at nearly 4 million.


Why multigenerational households are making a comeback in a big way

“I do think that we’re talking more about multi-generational communities,” said Jennifer Molinsky at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. “And I think that there are a lot of people who want to be surrounded by people of all ages and have those daily interactions.”

The Washington Post

Getting your dream outdoor space is now easier — and cheaper

Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies — which forecasts spending on home remodeling and repairs, including in outdoor spaces — anticipates this downward trend will endure for the rest of 2024. Still, says Abbe Will, associate director of the center’s Remodeling Futures Program, it’s important to keep in mind that everything is relative.


Home Depot bets on big construction projects with new acquisition

The early years of the pandemic were a bonanza for home renovations, said Carlos Martín at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Since then? “Well, it’s been a wild ride,” he said. Mortgage rates were at record lows, and people were stuck at home with a lot of extra time and extra money to tinker around the house. He said spending on home renovations spiked in 2021 and 2022. “Now what we’re going through is a correction and a stabilizing,” Martín said.