News and Commentary
In an article for American Compass, Salim Furth discusses how to create family-friendly housing policy. In order for families to find and afford the living arrangements that meet their needs, a number of zoning regulations must be adjusted or lifted.
In a piece for WHYY, Ryan Briggs covers recent bills passed by the Philadelphia City Council which impose additional zoning restrictions, particularly along Girard Avenue. Under the new bills, “new building heights between 2nd and Broad streets would be capped at 38 feet — about the height of a conventional, three-story rowhouse.”
In an article at AEI, Desmond Lachman argues that the United States is entering yet another housing crisis. His primary argument for this perspective is the recent, massive increases in home prices. Furthermore, he claims that this has been fueled in part by continued Fed purchases of U.S Treasury Bonds and Mortgage-Backed Securities. On the other hand, Lachman does acknowledge that “no longer do we have large-scale sub-prime lending or the infamous NINJA (No income, no job, no asset) loans. In addition, in the wake of the Great Economic Recession, serious efforts were taken to strengthen the balance sheet position of the banks.”
In Forbes, Richard McGahey argues that exclusionary zoning perpetuates racial inequality by limiting non-white wealth accumulation and equitable public-school funding.
In a new NBER paper by Joseph Gyourko & Jacob Krimmel, examine how land use regulations impact the price of land in major metropolitan areas throughout the US. They find that “Seattle has joined the two big California metros of Los Angeles and San Francisco in having the largest zoning taxes in the nation. Those three markets now look different than the big east coast markets, with a prime reason being that there is virtually nowhere in the three west coast metros, no matter how far from the urban core, where cheap land without a zoning tax at least equal to typical household income is available.” They also find that, while east coast markets do not have zoning taxes quite as high as those on the west coast, they are still much higher than in places like Atlanta or Charlotte.