Steve Chapman: Liberal Policies vs. Affordable Housing

The chronic shortage of inexpensive housing is really a blaring signal for government to get out of the way.

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Housing
Dreamstime

Julian Castro is a smiling bundle of energy whose past includes being mayor of San Antonio and whose future may include a spot on a national Democratic ticket—say, as a nicely balanced running mate for a presidential nominee who is a white female from New York. Right now, though, he is secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or what he calls "the Department of Opportunity."

As that label suggests, Castro is a staunch believer in the value of government involvement in the housing market. He came to Chicago recently to tout the many ways in which Washington can allegedly be a positive force on behalf of affordable housing and thriving communities.

In theory, that is not impossible. But in practice, it seldom works out well. In medicine, the term "iatrogenic" refers to diseases that are caused by doctors or medications. The housing problems that governments decry are often problems that governments create. Liberals devise remedies for ills that are most prevalent where liberals hold power, argues Steve Chapman.

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