This question will have different implications for Americans, Canadians and for specific cities.
The need for housing (dwelling) is one of the 3 primal needs, along with, food and reproduction.
Limiting our conversation to the present, the need for affordable housing seems to be increasing. Increases in real estate values in many communities had severely limited the availability of affordable rents and homes available to purchasers. Bidding wars have pushed the prices of homes way up year over year.
Some frustrated buyers, and generally vapid politicians, blame Realtors for this, ignoring the fact that a Realtor has a fiduciary obligation to work for their seller(s).
Many of the above also seem to have a poor understanding of supply-demand economics: low supply and high demand=higher prices. It’s as true for walnuts as it is for homes.
Expecting builders to build at a loss is unreasonable.
Building affordable housing through tax revenues simply means that our taxes will go up.
Having Municipalities subsidize lot levies to help lower the construction costs of building homes will simply shuffle the lost revenues onto the shoulders of the remaining tax payers. Consider that almost all municipalities are currently in deficit.
Consider that the most significant portion of the cost of a house is not the material or building costs but the value of the land underneath the structure.
What can be done to help make housing more affordable for challenged individuals, for families?