Hi, Your title is affordable housing crisis, and I ask affordable to whom? I'm not trying to rain on your parade, and there is no but here. Lets look at affordable housing in a different manner. I have friends from 146 different countries and most of them do not think we have an affordable housing crisis. To them we have a covetousness and greediness crisis. If a person makes a certain amount of dollars he can afford b dollars, yet he wants c,d,e,f,g,h...dollars and since he cannot afford all and everything it is called a crisis, most of my friends do not see it as a crisis. We here in America are actually wealthy even if we live in a 100 sq foot apartment. I ask why the landlords get to charge $1200.00 for that apartment and why do the taxpayers have to pay to help someone live there to support the greed of the land owner in certain cities?
I think what you really are asking is how to make houses better, for less money. I agree that the country is diverse in climate and topography and bugs. Every place should be allowed to devise what the bare minimum requirements are for themselves instead of a central government demanding what and how you have to build, which would make some things less expensive. We would also have more alternative shelters to live in. Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright had an extreme amount of trouble getting his structures built because they didn't meat code. A small group of 300 people could alter local control over central control. Look up R.E.S.U.L.T.S. pac. 200 volunteers had the 2nd greatest influence in the US, and changed things in govt" because of the tactics they used. Maybe a Permies pac could do the same to make housing less expensive. If we are willing to put in the effort to change the mindset of the nation it can be done. Be persistent and it will take years, but finding the best building practices from around the world and having them introduced in the US means going against many of the people with money and power.