News and Commentary
The Strand Bookstore, a 92-year old New York institution, has been designated as a landmark by NYC. This means the third-generation owner, Nancy Bass Widen, will need to pay thousands of dollars for any renovations on the store’s property, which must then be approved by the city.
This excellent interactive article from The New York Times shows the zoning maps of major American cities, demonstrating just how much land is dedicated exclusively to single-family housing.
Writing for Reason, Christian Britschgi documents recent pieces in high-profile publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post arguing for reducing the restrictive land-use regulatory burden in blue cities across the U.S. What makes this development notable, writes Britscghi, is that these generally liberal publications are recognizing NIMBY regulations are a failure of liberal governments.
A Stateline article published by Pew finds that many of those working in high-cost superstar cities, like New York and San Francisco, are increasingly driven to cheaper, lower-population cities, like Jersey City and Vallejo, to afford the rent. This comes with longer commute times, and the resultant “sprawl” created by a lack of affordable housing in high-productivity, job-rich areas.
A new rent control law in New York would benefit wealthier, older tenants living in NYC, writes Josh Barbanel in The Wall Street Journal.
Democratic presidential candidate and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro released his housing plan, making him the fourth major presidential candidate to do so. The main pillars of his plan are an expansion federal rent vouchers, tax credits for those who spend more than 30% of their income on rent, expanding access to homeownership in party by providing down-payment assistance, expanding public housing construction, and reforming exclusionary zoning.
In Regulation, Chris Elmendorf writes about how the politics of land-use and zoning regulations need to be recalibrated. Starting with Scott Wiener’s SB 50 (originally called SB 827), he then goes through the past few decades of regulatory overreach in the housing market driven by “local control” of these decisions. He also proposes an “auction system” where local governments could auction off the rights to develop above a certain baseline.
A new Brookings study finds that density is a recipe for growth, with many high-productivity firms choosing to locate in “superstar” cities, in the process leaving other parts of the country behind. Increasing urban density, not just in already-established large cities, is essential for providing equitable growth in the U.S.
A new paper finds that landlords will threaten tenants with eviction not because they plan to enact such a punishment, but as a way to reestablish their power in the tenant-landlord dynamic, and create a justification to force tenants out for a number of reasons unrelated to the original eviction notice.