Conservatives, it seems, don’t want to talk about our housing crisis. Some view “housing crisis” itself as a progressive buzzword, implying some inalienable right to a comfortable, taxpayer-funded home. Others counsel retreat to the countryside and abandonment of left-leaning cities and suburbs, where the crisis is the worst.

But the housing crisis affects more Americans every year—educated, middle-income young people, not just the unemployed and fixed-income retirees. Less than 50 percent of millennials, the largest generation by population, owned a home in 2020, compared to 78 percent of baby boomers. Conservatives cannot turn a blind eye to something so fundamental.

Nor should we let our cities, home to 83 percent of Americans, become unlivable slums. American metropolises were not always blighted concentrations of crime and ugliness. Conservatives who abandon cities are just ducking responsibility for failing to defend them.

Conservatives must empathize with young people seeking home ownership and residents of struggling urban areas—including the homeless. In February, historic cold fronts and snowstorms overwhelmed electrical grids and froze oil and gas pipelines, leading to hundreds of deaths. If meteorological trends hold, we could be in for a repeat this year as our homelessness problem gets even worse.

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