Home construction is pictured.
Mike Blake/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Housing crunch: For 24 straight months, the supply of homes for sale across the U.S. has been shrinking, pushing the homeownership rate to its lowest point in half a century. President Donald Trump has pledged to fix this, but there’s one problem: there’s not much Washington can do to change things. Politico reports:

Federal housing agenda is still fixated on boosting demand from buyers. Its toolkit consists of levers such as preserving homeowner tax breaks, access to credit, and the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. ...

Federal policy has less to offer the supply side of the equation—builders—and the economic recovery has less been less kind to them. The number of homebuilding companies shrank 50 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to the most recent Census data, hitting their lowest level since 1997. The industry has yet to recover.

Segregation findings: New research from Stanford suggests that affordable housing developments built in poor, majority black communities can actually increase racial and income integration—contradicting a New York Times story this week faulting a federal program for increasing segregation. (Washington Post)

Newark riots, 50 years later: For four days in July 1967, the New Jersey city was an epicenter of race-related rage after the reported police beating of a black man—a conflict whose themes reverberate in today’s civilian vs. police tensions. (AP)

Another urban/rural divide: A new CDC report shows that cancer death rates are higher in rural America than in urban areas—which researchers attribute to disparities in health care and health insurance. (Washington Post)

Inside track: Tampa’s transit chief has ditched his car for the month to rely almost exclusively on his agency’s own buses, framing it as a “listening tour” to hear customers’ concerns. (Streetsblog)

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