This is how they do it. Affluent towns like New Canaan use endless “studies” to discourage affordable housing development. And they often create “committees” purportedly to produce more affordable housing, but in reality to kill any new proposals.
I’ve even seen cities purposely rezone low-lying and swampy areas for affordable housing, knowing they will never be buildable. That way, they can look good on paper (zoning map) while systematically discriminating against lower income families.
From the piece:
“In a letter to the town, Karp’s attorney Christopher Smith argued the WPCA is trying to prevent more affordable housing from being developed in New Canaan and the delay has nothing to do with global warming.”
The city has the tools for fast-track approvals and the issuance of bonds. Private companies like mine can bring the technical expertise to design and manage these developments for cities who choose this approach.
From the piece:
“City staff is working on a plan that would have the city build and hold its own workforce housing.”
There’s the old adage: “You always get less of what you tax.” That’s why an affordable housing tax on developers is such a bad idea.
In reality, the creation of workforce housing should be linked to job creation. It should be treated just like any other public improvement.
For example, a large manufacturer comes to town and the city determines what new infrastructure will be needed to support the new facility. The city issues bonds to extend water, sewer, gas, and electricity and contracts the construction of these new utilities.
While they’re at it, why not evaluate the manufacturer’s housing need and issue bonds for it, too? This, along with fast-tracking the zoning approvals for a sufficient number of workforce housing units, would be a good aporoach.
Cities have all of these tools at their disposal. Proactively using them instead of doing the bidding of the short-sighted NIMBY crowd is the solution to our workforce housing problem.
From the piece:
“Starting in 2017, all new apartment buildings built in Portland with more than 20 units must dedicate a portion of their units to low and moderate-income housing. But some developers are choosing to pay a penalty instead of creating affordable housing.”
This is the first episode in a series that looks at the challenges developers face from municipalities and neighborhoods when proposing affordable and workforce housing developments. Jeff Carroll and Phil Erhardt present examples of the most often used arguments against developers. Jeff outlines a successful methodology he has used over the last 20 years to respond to objections.
“In this article, we explore strategies to improve the efficiency of constructing apartment buildings through cost savings in site preparation, substructure work, and parking. This is the third piece in a series on how innovations in design and construction can reduce the costs of multifamily housing. Prior articles discussed cost categories for different building typologies and proposed strategies to save money on land and soft costs.”
“This article is the second in a series examining how innovations in design and construction can bring down the cost of building apartments. The first article discussed how costs vary across different multifamily typologies. In this piece, we address potential cost savings in two categories: land costs and soft costs.”
“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.”