Here’s a lesson I learned a long time ago: Never ask for special permission on an affordable or workforce housing rezoning request. It opens the door to killing your entire project.
From the piece:
“A group of Manassas City Council members is looking to kill a proposal for workforce housing, saying the project would be too dense for the surrounding area and that it would change the neighborhood’s character….
[T]he property would need a rezoning to the B-3.5 mixed-use, city center designation. Bringing the 2.62-acre parcel to 60 total units would exceed the allowable density on the site, but in return, Elm Street is proposing to set 12 of the renovated Manassas Arms units aside as affordable housing, specifically targeting city and city schools employees.”
A recent study conducted by the Washington Policy Center found that as much as 24 percent of housing price increases may be attributed to the government policy. Indeed, the study found that state and local laws, permitting, building restrictions and regulations add on average $144,000 to the cost to construct a new, median priced home.
Reminds me of the old saying “No society in the history of the world taxed and/or regulated itself into prosperity.”
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.”
“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and Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.), would use Community Development Block Grant Consolidated Plans to support modernizing outdated codes that hinder housing and undermine sound local plans.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.”