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.”

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/

We Need More Housing, Not More Rent Control

“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.”

https://mises.org/wire/we-need-more-housing-not-more-rent-control

Photo Credit: Mises Institute

Another Housing Provider Quits

“I no longer have any desire to be a housing provider in California. The politicians have beaten me down with their constant attacks on landlords. Because California has failed to produce enough housing to satisfy the increases in demand from the jobs created here, my fellow small property owners and I are now Public Enemy No. 1. The statewide rent control law passed last year, which comes on top of myriad local measures to regulate us, showed just how little our work is valued in this state…. The race toward the bottom has begun. Will anyone wake up to this? ”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogervaldez/2020/03/09/i-quitanother-housing-provider-gives-up/#75bbbe0036c5