When Will Affordable Housing Advocates Push For More Supply, Fewer Rules?

A Forbes magazine article highlighted what is perhaps the largest affordable housing solution that everyone should know, but no one talks about–especially here in California: If you increase the supply of something, the cost goes down.  Hence, if home prices are too high, increase the supply of houses and the prices will come down.  Make sense?  Apparently not to many so-called affordable-housing advocates who instead argue for subsidized, low-income housing using more and more developer and tax-payer money to build subsidized housing to offset high housing prices. 

But why are housing prices so high in the first place? The lack of market rate supply contributes to high prices that puts market rate housing out of reach, and as long as that problem goes unaddressed, more and more subsidies will need to be wrung out of funding sources already spread thin. Affordable housing advocates need to start calling for fewer rules and regulations that slow the production of market rate housing and add costs to subsidized housing as well.

It has been well researched and established that regulation and rules and public process in land use and zoning codes contribute to the costs and thus the price of housing. The California report found that, neighborhood opposition, design review, and parking requirements drove up costs and limited production. The study also found that dense projects with more and smaller units are also less costly per unit to build.

Forbes Article HERE.