Let the Marketplace Work

Read this headline. Think about what it’s saying. It puts the words “affordable” (i.e., inexpensive and plentiful) in the same sentence with “lottery” (i.e., scarce).

Remember when 72-inch flat-screen TVs were a $10,000 luxury? Now we can select from scores of competing brands for a small fraction of that cost.

How did this happen? Was it the result of a lottery? Government regulation? Limits on new flat-screen TV production and ownership?

No. It was the result of competition.

Let the marketplace work. Deregulate the production of housing and let developers like me reach renters and buyers previously unreached.

From the piece:

“The affordable housing lottery has launched for 200 Montague Street, a 20-story residential building in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn. Designed by Beyer Blinder Belle and developed by Aurora Capital Partners, the structure yields 121 residences. Available on NYC Housing Connect are 38 units for residents at 80 to 130 percent of the area median income (AMI), ranging in eligible income from $54,960 to $215,1500.”

Gentrification vs Redevelopment (Revisited)

How is this any different than private investors purchasing dilapidated, unsafe homes and displacing the tenants (i.e., “gentrification”)?

In reality, ANY investment – private or public – which increases the stock of safe, decent housing should be embraced enthusiastically.

Let’s not settle for homeless encampments or squatters in boarded up housing. Discouraging investment to maintain the status quo does nothing to help these people.

Not In My City

“You can work here, but don’t think about living here.”

This is the mantra of affluent cities relying on less affluent cities to provide for their affordable housing needs.

From the piece:

“Manteca is Brentwood’s affordable housing plan…. All of the solutions being discussed were essentially aimed at solving the affordable housing of Bay Area cities and not that of Manteca.”

https://www.mantecabulletin.com/opinion/local-columns/manteca-needs-affordable-housing-manteca-and-not-brentwood/

The YIMBY Act Passes House by Voice Vote

“The YIMBY Act, which was championed by Representatives Denny Heck (D-Wash.) and Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.), would use Community Development Block Grant Consolidated Plans to support modernizing outdated codes that hinder housing and undermine sound local plans. The senate version of the legislation (S. 1919) was introduced last year by Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).”

https://dennyheck.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/yes-in-my-backyard-act-passes-house-by-voice-vote

https://www.planning.org/home/action/nimby/

Why Affordable Housing Is So Hard to Find in America’s Big Cities

“Vanessa Brown Calder found for the Cato Institute that increased land-use regulation is associated with rising real average home prices in 44 states and that rising zoning regulation is associated with rising real average home prices in 36 states. ‘In general,’ she finds, ‘the states that have increased the amount of rules and restrictions on land use the most have higher housing prices.’ As a result, the $200 billion in federal funds, which was spent on subsidizing, renting, and buying homes in 2015, went to states with more restrictive zoning and land-use rules. ‘Federal aid thus creates a disincentive for the states to solve their own housing affordability problems by reducing regulation,’ Brown Calder finds.”

https://fee.org/articles/why-affordable-housing-is-so-hard-to-find-in-america-s-big-cities/

Prohibiting Underground Parking Creates Obstacles for Affordable Housing

“DOEE has indicated that it intends to prohibit purely residential buildings from building underground parking garages unless they obtain a code modification. Mixed-use projects, however, would be allowed to use underground parking garages ‘by right’ and no longer need to obtain a variance. These proposed changes would place another obstacle to delivering affordable housing in the District.”

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/d-c-s-department-of-energy-environment-94186/