Affordable Housing

Big-City Mayors Think They Can Mandate Their Way to Affordable Housing

60% of mayors in expensive cities favor requiring developers "to include more affordable housing in new projects even if doing so deters some new development."

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"Affordable housing" New York-style. ||| Gizmodo
Gizmodo

If ever you were wondering why big American cities are governed so badly, take a gander at Boston University's Menino Survey of 89 U.S. mayors, including 63 from the 275 cities with populations of at least 100,000 (key findings here; full report here).

There are many depressing results to contemplate. For instance, mayors rightly see "infrastructure" as their most pressing priority, and also rightly (at least in my experience from living the last 18 years in Los Angeles, the District of Columbia, and New York), put "roads" at the top of that infrastructure list, and yet when asked to name one project they would build with one big unrestricted grant, "mass transit" went to Number One; and when asked to name one small infrastructure item, bike/pedestrian improvements shot to the top. In fact, when asked a tradeoff question, about whether "Cities should make their roads more accessible to bicycles even if it means sacrificing driving lanes and/or parking," a whopping 70 percent either agreed or strongly agreed.

As a confessed mass transit enthusiast who no longer owns a car (thanks, Brooklyn thieves!), I understand the personal preference for the pedestrian life. But when converted to public policy, these attitudes can lead to such head-smackingly idiotic initiatives as L.A.'s unironically named "road diet," by which a city famous for automobile traffic is intentionally creating more of the stuff in favor of chasing the magic unicorn of Getting People Out of Their Cars. And what do you think happens to road infrastructure in cities governed by people who disdain the transportation preferences favored by the overwhelming majority of their constituents?

But what really caught my eye in the mayoral survey was this agree-or-disagree question: "Cities should require developers to include more affordable housing in new projects even if doing so deters some new development."

Italics mine, to emphasize the ol' supply-demand thing. Thirty percent of the mayors neither agreed nor disagreed, and 40 percent either agreed or strongly agreed. Which is bad enough on its own, but when you break out the responses by 100,000-plus cities in the top third for median housing prices, the results are staggering: 60 percent of expensive-city mayors think affordable housing mandates are a good idea even if they suppress the development of new housing stock.

This faith in government planning over private activity has been reflected in policy long enough that researchers have been able to study the effects on housing prices. The results? The big-city mayors are making a bad problem worse.

As I wrote in an L.A. Times op-ed in October,

Government exertions — and there have been plenty — have barely amounted to a rounding error in the total supply of housing stock. Since the mid-1980s, California's various programs to subsidize, incentivize and mandate affordable housing have produced all of 7,000 units a year, "or about 5 percent of total public and private housing construction," according to a May 2015 report by the California Legislative Analyst's Office.

The LAO study, which should be required reading for anyone who seeks to make or influence housing policy in the Golden State, includes a recommendation that government recognize its own limitations when intervening in the lower-end residential real estate market.

"The scale of these programs — even if greatly increased — could not meet the magnitude of new housing required," it states. What's needed are "broader changes that facilitate more private housing construction," it says. […]

Prices — even in housing — are a function of supply and demand, and politicians along California's coast have been systematically pinching supply for decades.

For example: "Development fees — charges levied on builders as a condition of development — are higher in California than the rest of the country," the LAO report notes (and the difference is substantial: $22,000 versus $6,000, on average). It takes seven months to get a building permit in coastal areas (compared with 4 1/2 months nationally), 12 months to get a rezoning variance (compared with 9 months), and projects subject to the state's intensive Environmental Impact Review process take an average of 2 1/2 years to approve.

When you make a good more expensive to produce, you're going to get less of it. Housing stock in the L.A. metro area grew by just 20% between 1980 and 2010, according to the LAO report, compared with 54% on average in other American metropolitan areas.

More in that vein, including a choice Paul Krugman quote, here.

The whole mayoral survey is a sobering reminder that libertarian approaches to public policy are most urgently needed—and absent from—the local level. The Reason Foundation, which publishes this website, is a huge and valuable source of research and concrete activity on municipal issues, including affordable housing, transportation, pension reform, education, criminal justice reform, and privatization

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  1. Who are you going to trust? Your lying eyes?

    I’m looking at you, NY, SF, and Berkeley.

    1. C’mon, gloat a little. You’ve wounded a troll enough for him to realize he’s been wounded. Come back, PB!

      1. I’ve got to know what he said to Weigel, because I missed it.

          1. At least you spelled his name correctly.

            1. At least? I’m not the retard; he is.

              1. “At least? I’m not the retard; he is.”
                I stand corrected; I should have written:
                “You also spelled his name correctly”

          2. Dude, you are officially my hero man. That is freaking awesome.

            Though of course the idea that the fuckface Dave Weigel has $100,000 in investments is so far beyond laughable that no word exists for it.

            I suspect that you know as well as I do that the vile turd won’t even make the donation, but it doesn’t even really matter. It’s worth it anyway.

          3. I have no idea what is going on there. The stock market is opaque to me.

            1. At least you’re smart enough to admit it and not take on someone in the field who clearly knows what he’s talking about.

              Fuckface is such a goddamn total retard that he apparently thinks learning a little bit of the lingo in order to make himself try to sound credible actually makes him an expert. What a horse’s ass. Maybe he’ll never show up again, but I doubt we’ll be that lucky.

          4. You wrote “I won’t welch.” Our relationship has been breached.

            1. I took the trash out. Let’s call it a wash.

            2. Are things going to be weird between you two at Reason HQ cocktail partiez now?

  2. What is the picture related to?

    Is New York going for Pruitt-Igoe II: Electric Boogaloo?

    1. Side note: There is a “documentary” called The Pruitt-Igoe Myth which turns up as the number 2 result (for me, at least) on a Google search for “pruitt-igoe” (hooray for SEO).

      I’ll save you the trouble of reading the abstract. In short, it failed because:
      – White Flight
      – Budget Cuts
      – Racism

      1. Pruitt-Igoe

        The wikipedia page reads like a low-rent version of J. G. Ballard’s High Rise.

        1. All authors agree that by the end of the 1960s, Pruitt?Igoe was nearly abandoned and had deteriorated into a decaying, dangerous, crime-infested neighborhood; its architect lamented: “I never thought people were that destructive”.[17]

          They completely destroyed an entire apartment complex in under 15 years. Amazing. And they weren’t even trying really. Imagine what these people could have done if they had really put their minds to it.

      2. Funny you should mention that because I recently watched it. I can assure you that government red-tape clusterfuckery is given due mention in the show.

        1. I’m not a fan of documentaries in general, but if you say that it is even-handed I will give it a shot despite my misgivings from the abstract.

          1. “even-handed” may be a bit of a stretch, but it isn’t totally a left-wing hit piece.

      1. Ok, so not “public housing”

    2. Pruitt-Igoe. Wasn’t that built about the same time as Levittown? How’s Levittown doing? I’m sure it’s doing much worse than Pruitt-Igoe seeing as how Levittown wasn’t built by Top Men with Bold Vision and Big Ideas in the same manner as Pruitt-Igoe.

      1. And Levittown is all cookie cutter! No right-thinking person would want to live there!
        And screw Louis Mumford.

  3. I don’t understand why people are against increasing housing supply without set asides. It would seem stupidly obvious that the more homes available the less each is worth and the less that can be charged for them. If someone tears down 6 houses and puts in an apartment complex that fits 20 apartments the housing supply has gone up and downward pressure has been placed on prices (a single apartment complex will probably not have a noticeable result).

    You’d think these big cities would put in a fast track for any developer or landowner that wanted to increase the amount of homes on a single piece of land, no matter what they want to charge.

    1. The people who make the rules already have places to live, so what do they care about housing costs?

    2. There’s only two possible conclusions. 1)The people who run these cities are idiots. 2) The people who run these cities stand to gain personally by keeping the housing supply low.

      I’m betting on 2). The idiots are the people who voted the cronies into office.

        1. Don’t forget the fact that an awful lot of people already own property. And they have an interest in keeping its value inflated.

          1. Or, in the case of Charlie Rangel, he’s cronying on the other side of things. For some reason, he needs 4 rent controlled apartments.

          2. The Atlanta paper here keeps a close eye on the real estate market and housing prices – faithfully relaying the bad news when prices fall as well as the good news when prices rise. Drives me nuts – how the hell can you possibly think rising prices are good news? Do you depend on revenues from real estate ads and “rising prices = hot market = more money for me and who gives a crap about anybody else struggling to afford a home” is all you greedy bastards think about or something? Isn’t that a contradiction of the bleeding-heart liberalism you display on every other page of your newspaper?

            1. I believe they think rising prices indicate that people have the money to buy homes, especially young/first time buyers are now at a point where they are comfortable entering the market. They would also say that not only are these buyers wanting to buy, but they want to put down roots (and money) in this market, which is good for the local economy.

              They look across the country and say – Detroit, falling home prices, bad – Seattle, rising home prices, good.

              Of course the underlying story on the prices is far more complicated.

            2. Drives me nuts – how the hell can you possibly think rising prices are good news?

              You already own a home?

      1. At least in the case of Eric Garcetti in LA, it’s #1. He’s a god damn moron.

        1. He’d make a great trophy buck, though.

      2. Actually, you can throw in 3) The people who run these cities know perfectly well what the result will be, but do it because their supporters believe that crap.

        1. This. When a similar debate came up in a Portlandia-East suburb where I used to live, the neighborhood activists watched the law of supply and demand work in front of their eyes and were mystified by what they saw.

      3. So the 3rd reason I’ve noticed, living in a small city (~45k) is that the current residents like the town the size it is and don’t actually WANT anyone else to move there. They oppose any and all development at all costs, even when it involves putting up a nice new building on top of a crumbling shit hole.

        It’s a lot of stupidity, too, for sure. This town is a tourist destination and yet everyone opposes a shiny new Marriott downtown on main street, even though the building there before was an old tiny cinderblock hovel sitting in front of a empty dirt lot that was the black neighborhood until the city demolished it in the 1970.

        YEAH LETS KEEP THE BLIGHT WE CREATED (and by we I mean them, I didn’t even live here until 5 years ago) instead of allowing a new hotel to be built.

    3. If you just let developers develop with minimal interference, there would be plenty of affordable housing. It just wouldn’t be “good enough” for those in charge. There would be solemn protests, shocking newspaper exposes, and firm calls to action, and eventually the supply of affordable housing stock would be back down to current levels.

    4. You might think these things, but lots of people don’t. They consider things of a certain quality or in a certain category to have a certain built-in price. For instance, they think drug makers would rather not have their products move from prescription-only to OTC status, because the profit margin is greater on prescription drugs?one of those things that just “is”. They don’t think of housing getting cheaper & people’s being able to buy better for the price; they just think there’s luxury housing and that it’ll sit vacant until rich people show up for it, and middle-class housing ditto, and that whatever places they move out of will just stay on the market until they get their price. Maybe these people have never tried selling a place.

    5. most people who run cities (like politicians in general) are basically retarded when it comes to economics. They don’t see the connection between restricting new housing and the rising home prices. They implement these growth controls because they fear the impact on local infrastructure (schools, roads, traffic, etc) but also want to make sure that affordable housing remains for low income folks (many of whom are just govt employees). In so doing, they further restrict the availability of housing by making the process so difficult to begin with. As prices grow, they see more “need” for affordable housing and implement more controls. It’s a cycle that perpetuates itself.

  4. If ever you were wondering why big American cities are governed so badly, take a gander at Boston University’s Menino Survey of 89 U.S. mayors, including 63 from the 275 cities with populations of at least 100,000

    I wonder what proportion of big city voters are philosophically or politically aligned with those mayors they elected. If political culture isn’t what it is, those mayors wouldn’t be in power to fuck shit up. This isn’t simply a problem of Top Men. The problem is that the vast majority of the voting public can’t string together a logically coherent and morally sound political philosophy if their livelihood depended on it.

    1. This.

    2. Actually most of the voters in the local elections probably are either philosophically aligned with or direct beneficiaries of cronyism that the local officials who get elected offer.

      Remember, voter registration in most places runs about 50% and voter turnout in local elections typically runs under 30%. This means that in a city of 100k the total votes cast for Mayor will be somewhere around 6000 and so the winner only needs ~3000 votes.

      Well nabbing the Teachers Union, police union, and a couple of other local union endorsements is going to get you more than half way there, throw in a couple of “community organizers” that you can bribe with promises of payouts to their constituencies and you don’t really even need to campaign more than is needed to maintain appearances

      1. Well nabbing the Teachers Union, police union, and a couple of other local union endorsements is going to get you more than half way there, throw in a couple of “community organizers” that you can bribe with promises of payouts to their constituencies and you don’t really even need to campaign more than is needed to maintain appearances

        Which is exactly why democracy is not conducive to the furtherance individualist ideologies. The system selects for collectivist ideologies at the expense of liberty. I’m sure you’ve heard the old schtick about getting libertarians to make an electoral force of themselves is like herding cats. Well I would broaden that to include basically anyone who isn’t some species of socialist or a net consumer of tax receipts. There’s few enough of us as is.

  5. One nice thing about destroying your housing stock is that it drives up costs substantially, thus causing all the poor people to leave.

    Then, once all the poor people have fled, you can point to your low poverty rates as evidence of success. Meanwhile, all the poor people will have moved to some smaller city, like Newark or something, and they’ll have to deal with all the poverty while the Big City becomes a playground for rich leftists who get to pretend they care about poor people they no longer have to see due to the prohibitive cost of living.

    It’s wonderful.

    1. And on top of that you can call for more mass transit subsidies so poor people from outside the city can afford to commute into the city to do all the jobs that the rich people don’t want to do.

      /Winning

      1. Then, in many areas, you can make them pay a commuter tax, a/k/a taxation without representation.

    2. Nah. With rent control, poor people never leave. In Berkeley, they’re known as “Dinosaurs”.

      1. The right kind of poor people, though.

      2. The right kind of poor people, though.

    3. Then, once all the poor people have fled, you can point to your low poverty rates as evidence of success.

      Wait, I thought we were talking about housing prices. Now we’re talking about cities hiking the minimum wage to drive minimum-wage employers out of the city, too?

  6. New, expensive housing drives down the price of the older housing, making it more accessible to poorer people. This is not complicated or hard to figure out, but instead cities want to spend $400,000 a unit (as Philadelphia did recently) to build new housing for poor people.

    New housing is a luxury good!

  7. Let’s also not forget the other Very Important Lesson given to us by American cities, which is that when white people move to the suburbs it’s because they’re racists who hate black people and are engaged in white flight, but when white people move back into the city, it’s because they’re racists who hate black people and are engaged in gentrification.

    I know this seems unrelated to the issue, but it kind of shows how our cities are run in the most moronic way possible and the people running things have no clue what their actual goals are.

    1. This is exactly what’s happening here in Detroit. And it’s also the case that there are dozens of new housing projects (lofts etc.) being developed in downtown, and indeed they are very expensive (there’s currently a 99% occupancy rate downtown), so locals who have lived there from before the ‘white flight’ are now being driven out because they can’t afford the new rents. So this is indeed just like the urban planners describe. And as the article says, local developers are being required to install ‘affordable housing’. Not sure what that’s going to look like. It’s all fun to watch, however.

      1. Happening in Chicago too. When Rahm put through the largest property tax increase in the history of the world, the biggest cry was from brown-skinned aldermen who bitched that their constituents will be taxed out of their houses and that white-skinned people will move in. But the Democrat aldermen unanimously approved the tax increase.

    2. Yet running against “New York” values is a faux pas somehow. Urban centers are badly governed because of a bad set of shared assumptions about how to run a high population area, but actually giving those assumptions a name is bad PR.

    3. Nobody on the face of the earth hates having black people living too close in their own neighborhood more than “elite” white yuppie liberals.

  8. I love how the statists always try to force people into mass transit by making driving a big pain in the ass. They never try making mass transit better.

    “Maybe if we mandated that all cars had to have their seats removed and drivers would have to sit on a traffic cone instead, then bus ridership would grow”

    1. Hey, we have a train that goes nowhere!!

    2. It’s funny to me that one of the ways the political elite try to “prove” that they understand the common folk is to ride mass transit…one time.

    3. Another favorite tool of city planners is to underpark new shopping centers. Does the math say these 10 stores need 100 parking spaces? Well, let’s just put in 25 and people will take the bus!

      1. When I lived in boston I despised taking the t with my groceries.

    4. drivers would have to sit on a traffic cone

      go on….

      1. Rooting for potholes and other things that make your car go bump, are you?

    5. Consider that no mass transit system exists on its own revenue – every one needs some outside source of income and you might see why they can’t be made too much better, else the other source of income is unable to keep up.

  9. As a confessed mass transit enthusiast who no longer owns a car (thanks, Brooklyn thieves!)

    When status signalling meets status shaming. Your personal preference for having a bike does not mean you get to sit in judgment of those who deserved it and were forced by your oppressive privilege in keeping your bike to liberate it for themselves. Shame on you, Matt.

  10. I seem to remember that housing got way more affordable around 2008, but no one was happy at all.

    1. And housing has been pushed right back to where it was. In Boulder County it’s actually over the 08-09 prices. I would love to buy a house. I cant save to do it when everything is worth twice what it should be.

  11. This piece could have been written about homersexual Ed Murray and his band of merry socialist city council members in Seattle. Their to priorities:
    Spend $60000 to paint crosswalks rainbow colors in the gaytopia neighborhood of capital hill,
    Take up entire car lanes in the city to create bike lanes-complete with their own traffic lights,
    Take up parking spaces(that cost $4/hr to park in) downtown to create “sitting spaces” (for hobos),
    Create tent cities in downtown areas for hobos to piss,shit,shoot up, and throw trash in,
    Force developers to dedicate 25% of their properties to affordable housing,
    Institute rent control(which has worked so well in affordable cities like NYC and San Francisco),
    Build elevated bike paths throughout the city(who doesn’t love biking up and down hills in the rain?),
    Tax the rich!(that’s all you have to say around here to get elected)
    Expand light rail and buses(’cause hey, a bunch more of half empty buses helps with congestion, and god forbid someone should have to actually WALK a mile to the nearest bus stop),
    $15/hr(hey, Seattle invented it!)
    Increase business and occupation taxes on small business,
    …. And the list goes on…I wonder why I haven’t gone downtown in a year?

    1. Bart: Hello is Homer there?

      Moe: Homer who?

      Bart: Homer Sexual.

      Moe: Well, one second, let me check. Uhh, “Homer Sexual?” Oh come on, come on, one of you guys has got to be Homer Sexual!

      Homer: Ha Ha, don’t look at me.

      Moe: Oh no, You rotten little punk. If I ever get a hold of you I’ll sink my teeth into your cheek and rip your face off.

      1. Is that the same upside where Homer is the terminator?

        CONS: Possible Homersexual.

        1. Yep. “Principal Charming”. Season 2.

          1. Bonus points if you didn’t have to look that up.

  12. Which is bad enough on its own, but when you break out the responses by 100,000-plus cities in the top third for median housing prices, the results are staggering: 60 percent of expensive-city mayors think affordable housing mandates are a good idea even if they suppress the development of new housing stock.

    Please tell me you’re staggered by the fact that a mere 60% of big-city mayors think a top-down command economy beats a bottom-up free market. Because otherwise, you’re giving me the depressing news that you have no idea what self-selection bias in a survey means. These are Top Men you’re surveying – surely to god you can’t be surprised they favor rule by Top Men.

    1. You can be staggered by non-surprises, if the blow is heavy enough.

      1. I suppose that’s true, but when reality staggers you just remember they have pills for that now.

  13. to take this even farther California now requires communities to provide a minimum number of so called economical housing, or lose funding. As a result some counties are requiring some cities to absorb more of the burden because they don’t want the eco housing in the prized communities where they live. the result of this is more white flight in even the smallest communities, it not just the big cites now that have to suffer from government action.

  14. I hate to look like I prefer Tweedledum to Tweedledee, but did your survey compare the responses of Democratic mayors vs. Republican mayors?

    1. It did — and there’s a YUGE gap between the two. I was going to point that out, but the wording was all tricky, and I was in a hurry!

      1. On the way to a cocktail party, perhaps?
        /yokeltarianz

    2. TWEEDLEDUM WUZ RIGHT

    3. Most likely it is the Dem mayors. The Repub. mayors though would fight for tax cuts for special interest in housing which is just as bad. Take the mortgage interest deduction tax credit (although it federal), it pushes people to buy when perhaps they should be renting. But the govt knows better then you; so you should buy a house.

      1. It’s not just as bad.

        Not taking != giving. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

      2. Until somebody shows me that people who get tax cuts (and not refundable tax “credits”, i.e. subsidies) are paying less than the cost of the services they consume, I’m going to say that equating tax credits with subsidies and other direct government actions is disingenuous.

      3. But the govt knows better then you; so you should buy a house.

        It’s cute that you think the government wants you to buy a house because they think they know better than you what’s in your own financial best interest.

        The government wants you to buy a house because then you’re going to need a steady job to pay the mortgage. A steady job is one you’re going to stay at because you’ve got a mortgage on a somewhat illiquid asset. You buy a house and keep a steady job and the government knows where you’re at and where you’re most likely going to be staying at for the next 30 years. It’s harder to plan ahead for building roads and schools and water systems and airports if you can’t know how many people are going to be there to use them once you get done building them. Makes it much easier for herd-planning purposes if the little sheep don’t just keep wandering off every time they spot a greener patch of grass somewhere else and instead stay right where you put them.

        1. Makes it much easier for herd-planning purposes if the little sheep don’t just keep wandering off every time they spot a greener patch of grass somewhere else and instead stay right where you put them.

          I would say it is more a handout to the banks. The government wants to control the flow of money, and the best way to do that is to force it all through ever narrower channels.

  15. “rightly…put “roads” at the top of that infrastructure list”

    So you’re not Somalian? /old meme

  16. “60% of mayors in expensive cities favor requiring developers “to include more affordable housing in new projects even if doing so deters some new development”

    DUH.

    They get credit for what they tell people to do. They don’t get credit for what they allow the market to do on its own.

    1. Politicians get credit for what the market has done on its own all the time.

      1. “The market” does what it does and politicians interfering in its operation are just another part of the market. If you pour sugar in your gas tank on the theory that the extra calories will make your car go faster, you can’t then say there’s some sort of problem with the car. The car will perform flawlessly, it will perform precisely as a car with sugar in the gas tank is supposed to perform, as a car with sugar in the gas tank must perform.. “The market” always performs precisely the way a market is supposed to perform, the way a market must perform.

      2. Maybe that should have been “they may try and take credit for what the market has obviously done on its own…, but only morons believe it”?

  17. I lived in the People’s Republic of Berkeley for many years. The politicians in the Berkeley city council are a special breed that make LA look like it’s being run by a cabal of geniuses. They really want to fix the housing crisis and they just can’t wrap their heads around the notion that if you want more affordable housing, then you need more housing.

  18. “60% of mayors in expensive cities favor requiring developers “to include more affordable housing in new projects even if doing so deters some new development.”

    1.) Pandering by and to progressives. (Note: cannot separate by R or D)
    2.) It’s not just big cities and it isn’t coming from mayors. This is coming from the community planners within the cities who actually run the show. Architectural and Planning schools in the univiersities are teaching young idealistic (and prone to progressive) students the merits of social engineering through planning. They have learned that by tying “affordable” and “sustainable” as requirements for development they can steer the direction of that development. Zoning wasn’t enough, no, in order to shape the world for the “greater good” it is necessary to put the government in charge of the developers purse strings. “Wanna work in our community, you have to play by our rules.” The extortion coming out of community planning departments these days is overt.

  19. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

    Click This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ? http://www.WorkPost30.com

  20. If only mass transit was worth a crap in places that aren’t human anthills designed to destroy the human soul. Take Seattle: you can drive someplace in 40 minutes or less, or take the bus and spend three hours being routed from one suburb to downtown Seattle and then back out to another suburb only so you can walk an extra mile. Repeat for the way home.

    Your call for mass transit is really just a call to force everyone (except the elite class) to live in squalor and call it a “vibrant city core”…

    1. “live in squalor and call it a “vibrant city core”…”

      That,… is exactly the plan. You should want to learn to live with less, that is the moral and just way to live your life. Your goal should be to trod gently through life and apologize for having to eat, and live, and occupy space. You should understand that you cannot be allowed to simply reproduce, because, well, there are already too many humans and who do you think you are to be using resources.

      Welcome to the world that is sustainability.

  21. This is a big deal in Portland, OR. We have a rental vacancy rate of 2.7% currently. We simultaneously have leftards whining about high rents while protesting any demolition of ‘old’ houses or the construction of any ‘ugly skyscrapers’. The end result is that for those with property in the ‘inner’ parts of town have seen the value of their homes jump and if you are a landlord you can command ridiculous rents.

    We bought our house in one of the prime areas and have seen the value go up by nearly 30% in the last 2 years. We’re renting out a 2 bd/2 ba 1500 sq. ft home for a little over 2k + utilities. We’re looking at more properties to add to that one to rent out. Rent in our neighborhood went up 12% last year and looks to be going up even more this year. The more rules they pile on to the big developers, the more money I’m going to make.

    From a moral perspective I wish they’d remove the restrictions that are causing the shortage, but in the interim I’m happy to profit from soaking the same idiots that are voting for the government they deserve to get good and hard.

  22. Let me know when those Mayor’s have effectively banned Jay-Walking, and I might listen to them.

  23. Think about what may be the grand-daddy of all government laws that was supposed to support affordable housing. I’m referring to the rent control and rent stabilization laws enacted by New York City, beginning in 1920 and subsequently revised in 1946 and 1970.

    Basically, these laws control the property rights of landlords on how much they can increase rents each year. Some apartments in NYC are still under the original lease agreements as folks simply game the system to avoid rent increases by sub-leasing as though they were living in 1946 or whatever. The results have been mixed. If you are a renter and obtain a sub-lease on a rent controlled apartment at much less that the going rate, it is a wonderful find. However, if you are a property owner, if you cannot get permission to raise rents to reflect current costs, the rent control program is an invitation to try to minimize improvements and maintenance. So the overall quality of apartment living takes a hit.

    Government interference with the market eventually creates an economic imbalance where both sides cheat.

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