Can We Solve the Housing Affordability Crisis? White House says YES WE CAN!
Last month the White House released a “Housing Development Toolkit” paper urging cities to reduce zoning regulations and increase their housing stock, demonstrating that land use decisions, or lack thereof, have led to high rents and economic segregation, dragging down the U.S. economy.
The document reveals the lasting effects local municipalities can have when preventing housing production: “Accumulated barriers to housing development can result in significant costs to households, local economies, and the environment.”
The paper also points out a correlation between the sharp gap in home prices and construction costs and the drastic increase in local zoning and permitting regulations from 1970 to 1990 – which continue through today. Although cost of construction has remained relatively stable, home prices skyrocketed because “local policies acting as barriers to housing supply include land use restrictions that make developable land much more costly than it is inherently…and unnecessarily slow permitting processes.”
The toolkit highlights actions that states and local jurisdictions have succussfully taken to promote healthy, responsive, affordable, high- opportunity housing markets, including:
• Establishing by-right development
• Taxing vacant land or donating it to non-profit developers
• Streamlining or shortening permitting processes and timelines
• Eliminating off-street parking requirements
• Allowing accessory dwelling units
• Establishing density bonuses
• Enacting high-density and multifamily zoning
• Implementing inclusionary zoning
• Establishing development tax or value capture incentives
• Using property tax abatements
Access the Toolkit here: