News and Commentary
In order to fund some needed renovations, an historic Harlem church was planning to sell a part of their land for a highrise development. However, their proposal was vetoed in part out of concerns that the planned apartment building would not meet New York City’s poorly designed inclusionary zoning mandate. Given that the church may need to make a hefty return on the apartments to pay for the renovations, it remains to be seen whether another version of their plan could work.
A Cambridge resident lays out why his city’s housing crisis demands meaningful zoning reform. Mandating more inclusionary zoning and incentivizing landlords to accept more Section 8 tenants are insufficient responses.
According to the New York Times, some developers are tired of being associated with gentrification and are looking for a rebrand. The results have ranged from a warehouse turned apartment building to a hipster kibbutz.
An Illinois couple is being evicted from their own home after they housed a son’s friend who had nowhere else to stay. The young man had a criminal record, and their neighborhood had a crime-free housing ordinance, which forbade anyone with a record from living there. Now, the couple is going to court to overturn this rule.
In Spain, municipal governments that preside over housing bubbles tend to overspend the increased revenues. In African cities, higher-density is tightly associated with higher income. In Japan, both the rich and the poor are attracted to live near city centers, rather than segregating as you might expect.
A natural experiment in San Francisco reveals that rent control does exactly what basic economic theory would predict. Under price controls, tenants become 20% less likely to move, and landlords reduce available housing units by 15%. California cities with tighter zoning laws tend to see less housing growth.