Mega Cities Require Mega Suburbs

Housing is unaffordable in California, and, increasingly, housing is becoming unaffordable in every other part of the United States where Democrats control state legislatures and city councils. And in the spirit of nonpartisanship, it is fair to say that when it comes to housing, far too many Republicans share the same agenda and goals as their supposed Democrat opponents.

The shame of these policies is not only the misery they impose on growing proportions of Americans, but the pessimism they represent. Read beyond the initial recitation of mundane obstacles to share a positive vision of the future. The economics of affordable housing do not have to be complicated. Awesome housing for everyone can be realized merely by changing the conventional wisdom.

Here are four policy choices that have turned millions of Americans into slaves to their home mortgages, and pushed additional millions into cheap rentals that cost them most of their paycheck.

1 – Punitively high fees for building permits. These exorbitant sums are necessary to pay for infrastructure such as connector roads and utility conduits that cities used to pay for out of their operating budgets. But out-of-control expansion of government combined with overmarket pay negotiated by government unions has changed all that. Now local governments have to charge developer fees that can easily exceed $100,000 per home.

2 – Laws that require “inclusive zoning,” whereby low income people are given subsidized homes and apartments in high-income neighborhoods. This pushes up the costs for housing that people have […] Read More