Sand Castles Before the Tide? Affordable Housing in Expensive Cities

Sand Castles Before the Tide? Affordable Housing in Expensive Cities AbstractThis article focuses on cities with unprecedented economic success and a seemingly permanent crisis of affordable housing. In the expensive cities, policymakers expend great amounts of energy trying to bring down housing costs with subsidies for affordable housing and sometimes with rent control. But these efforts are undermined by planning decisions that make housing for most people vastly more expensive than it has to be by restricting the supply of new units even in the face of growing demand. I begin by describing current housing policy in the expensive metro areas of the United States. I then show how this combination of policies affecting housing, despite internal contradictions, makes sense from the perspective of the political coalitions that can form in a setting of fragmented local jurisdictions, local control over land use policies, and homeowner control over local government. Finally, I propose some more effective approaches to housing policy. My view is that the effects of the formal affordable housing policies of expensive cities are quite small in their impact when compared to the size of the problem—like sand castles before the tide. I will argue that we can do more, potentially much more, to create subsidized affordable housing in high-cost American cities. But more fundamentally, we will need to rethink the broader set of exclusionary land use policies that are the primary reason that housing in these cities has become so expensive. We cannot solve the problem unless we fix the housing market itself. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Economic Perspectives American Economic Association

Sand Castles Before the Tide? Affordable Housing in Expensive Cities

Preview Only
22 pages

Loading next page...
 
/lp/aea/sand-castles-before-the-tide-affordable-housing-in-expensive-cities-adK0J5gVjC
Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 © American Economic Association
ISSN
0895-3309
D.O.I.
10.1257/jep.32.1.59
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis article focuses on cities with unprecedented economic success and a seemingly permanent crisis of affordable housing. In the expensive cities, policymakers expend great amounts of energy trying to bring down housing costs with subsidies for affordable housing and sometimes with rent control. But these efforts are undermined by planning decisions that make housing for most people vastly more expensive than it has to be by restricting the supply of new units even in the face of growing demand. I begin by describing current housing policy in the expensive metro areas of the United States. I then show how this combination of policies affecting housing, despite internal contradictions, makes sense from the perspective of the political coalitions that can form in a setting of fragmented local jurisdictions, local control over land use policies, and homeowner control over local government. Finally, I propose some more effective approaches to housing policy. My view is that the effects of the formal affordable housing policies of expensive cities are quite small in their impact when compared to the size of the problem—like sand castles before the tide. I will argue that we can do more, potentially much more, to create subsidized affordable housing in high-cost American cities. But more fundamentally, we will need to rethink the broader set of exclusionary land use policies that are the primary reason that housing in these cities has become so expensive. We cannot solve the problem unless we fix the housing market itself.

Journal

Journal of Economic PerspectivesAmerican Economic Association

Published: Feb 1, 2018

There are no references for this article.

Sorry, we don’t have permission to share this article on DeepDyve,
but here are related articles that you can start reading right now:

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off