A group of researchers at the Urban Institute came out with a new study on zoning and housing affordability. At governing.com, a headline about the study screamed: "Zoning Changes Have Small Impact on Housing Supply." The Governing writer's spin was, of course, "there's no evidence it [upzoning] … [Read more...]
Do The Cities Need The Suburbs?
Aaron Renn has an interesting article in Governing. He suggests that even though urban cores are responsible for a significant chunk of the regional tax base, "[t]he city is dependent on the suburbs, too." In particular, he notes that downtowns are dependent on a labor and consumer pool that … [Read more...]
The conspiracy theory of rent increases
An article in Curbed by Lane Brown has gotten much publicity in Twitter. The article makes two factual claims: 1) New York City is still losing households, and thus there was no reason for rents to go back up in 2021-22; and 2) landlords are conspiring to keep supply down because some … [Read more...]
Herbert Hoover reconsidered
In recent years, I have thought of Herbert Hoover as sort of an urban policy villian, thanks to his promotion of zoning. But I recently ran across one of his memoirs in our school's library. (Hoover's memoirs were a multivolume set, and this particular volume related to his service as Secretary of … [Read more...]
YIMBYs and liberals
The pro-housing movement (more colloquially known as "YIMBYs" as an acronym for "Yes In My Back Yard" can't catch a break from either the Left or the Right. On the Left, pundits like to "expose" them as supporters of big business. But conservatives don't always embrace YIMBYs either; both on … [Read more...]
An Anti-Anti-NIMBY article
During the Trump Administration, liberals sometimes criticized conservatives for being anti-anti-Trump: that is, not directly championing Trump's more obnoxious behaviour, but devoting their energies to criticizing people who criticized him.Similarly, I've seen some articles recently that were … [Read more...]
Would the Vienna strategy work here?
Progressives often argue that American cities should imitate Vienna's 1920s strategy of building enormous amounts of public housing while controlling rents paid to private landlords. But a look at the birth of Vienna's public housing system shows why that system is not easily replicated.A … [Read more...]
Louisville and density regulation
Lydia Lo and Yonah Freemark have an interesting new paper ? EditSignon zoning in Louisville on the Urban Institute website. They point out that of the land zoned for single-family housing, 59 percent is zoned R4, requiring 9000-square-foot lots, which means no more than five houses per … [Read more...]