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Research Archive

May 9, 2024

State Housing Bills Are Dead; Time for Local Leaders to Step Up

While two statewide bills in Minnesota that would allow for missing middle housing everywhere and more dense housing in commercial zones have stalled, local officials remain acutely aware of housing affordability issues. Fortunately, they do not need to wait to take effective and immediate action. Many cities have traditionally been laser-focused on economic growth, while adding…

May 7, 2024

How Zoning Policies Affect the Housing Supply: City of Denver Case Study

Summary:The City of Denver switched to a new zoning code in June 2010. Most areas were upzoned, but some were downzoned. Overall, the policy encouraged housing construction in Denver. Slide deck 

May 6, 2024

Comments on the One Seattle Plan (Comp Plan)

Summary:1) Seattle has been underbuilding for the last decade (and likely even longer) and it needs to build more housing than the targets set in the comp plan.2) Seattle can legalize the building of more housing by embracing the lessons of its past and expanding on them. During the 1990s, Seattle upzoned parts of the…

April 8, 2024

Accountability Comes to Public Housing

With little fanfare, the impossible just happened at the Hope Gardens public housing project in Bushwick: the management got fired. Repairs to the project’s high rises and townhouses had been delayed, and, per an official notice, “cost-saving measures to curb ballooning controllable operating expenses” hadn’t been adopted. Such lack of foresight constitutes a typical day…

March 27, 2024

Market-oriented Reform Principles and Policies that Would Help the Housing Market

Introduction: In this election year, Congress and the President are feeling the urge to help Americans affected by rising housing affordability pressures across the country. With the status-quo untenable, Congress and the President are itching to address housing affordability, availability, and other community needs. Before springing into action, our leaders need to first establish clear…

March 21, 2024

It’s Not Just Minority Neighborhoods—NYC’s Entire Property-Tax System Needs Reform

There is good reason to conclude, as the state Court of Appeals did Tuesday, that New York City’s property-tax system leads to disproportionately high tax bills for minority homeowners. But those high taxes aren’t the result of discrimination; they’re just one example of a dysfunctional tax-assessment system that burdens homeowners and discourages new housing construction —…

March 15, 2024

Housing Abundance with Light-Touch Density

Executive Summary: The following presentation on “Communication with Policymakers and Media – For the Win!” was presented at YIMBYtown 2024, covering how Light-touch Density is the key to achieving housing abundance. Light-touch Density, which involves moderately increasing density in areas zoned exclusively for single-family detached homes, can tailored be to the context of specific localities….

March 14, 2024

A Crucial Fix For Rent Regulation

Housing legislation has moved to center stage in Albany, with proposals to provide aid for everything from granny flats to new, subsidized construction on the table. But one especially surprising, common-sense change in the state’s rent regulation appears to be attracting bipartisan support. A state Senate plan would permit up to 6% rent increases following major capital…

March 8, 2024

State of the Union – Biden’s Housing Proposals Would be Harmful, Not Helpful

President Biden in his State of the Union pitched a raft of proposals with the stated purpose of lowering costs for homebuyers and increasing the supply of rental units.  As has been the case with dozens of housing acts passed by Congress over the last 75 years, hold onto your wallet when the federal government says it…