“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and Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.), would use Community Development Block Grant Consolidated Plans to support modernizing outdated codes that hinder housing and undermine sound local plans.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).”
“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.”
“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.”
“Like rent control, these questions of housing prices boil down to the basics. When the supply of housing stock is artificially restricted thanks to legislation, we inevitably get more expensive housing. However, it is not sufficient to say ‘let the market handle it’ when trying to offer an alternative policy to rent control.
There’s plenty of government intervention that impedes market mechanisms from providing affordable housing. Instead, we must point to specific policies, such as zoning rules, that make it more difficult to build housing. These regulations are the main culprits behind these rising housing prices. To win this debate, free market proponents must offer the solution of land-use liberalization, which entails repealing these measures.”