State and local governments are driving up the cost of housing through a web of regulations, industry groups and federal officials say – a situation that’s prompted Housing Secretary Ben Carson to call for new incentives to eliminate the red tape.

“Our country is facing serious housing affordability challenges,” Carson said in a statement for this report. “Too many families can’t afford a home mortgage, and too many Americans face high rent prices … We must do more to increase supply and bring down housing costs by reducing state and local regulations and zoning restrictions.”

Critics point to assorted zoning, rent control, permitting and environmental regulations as the culprit for high prices.

During remarks at a conference in May, the secretary cited a Brookings study singling out two California cities: San Francisco and Los Angeles.