Zoning

Antiquated Zoning Laws Are Worsening the Housing Crisis

Ending single-family zoning doesn't ban single-family homes from neighborhoods. It merely allows more freedom for people to build what they want.

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We've all seen the news stories about the nation's insanely overheated housing market, as bidding wars have become the new normal. Prices have hit record levels and in some markets they have increased 20 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. It's no surprise that "housing crash" is one of the most popular search terms on Google.

California's median home prices have just topped $800,000, which is astounding when one considers that this is the statewide median, and includes lower-cost markets such as Bakersfield and Modesto. Unlike markets for consumer goods, government permitting and land-use regulations depress housing supply. That has led in part to the current price run up.

In 2015, the Legislative Analyst's Office reported that California's housing prices are 2.5 times the national average—and that we need 100,000 more units a year to keep pace. The state's slow-growth rules and endless mandates for solar energy and open space also drive up prices. That's why I beat the same old drum: California needs to let builders construct more housing of all types.

If a proposal reduces government regulations and allows more housing construction, I'm for it. If it does the reverse, I'm against it. That's why I support efforts to allow the construction of multi-family housing in areas that are now zoned only for single-family homes. Despite the misconception, that change doesn't ban single-family homes, but also allows duplexes and condos.

Unfortunately, the housing debate is tied up in the nation's cultural grudge match. To some commentators, efforts to reduce government regulation in the housing area amount to a liberal plot to destroy our God-given right to a lawn and picket fence. In a Fox News column last week, Tucker Carlson portrayed efforts to loosen up zoning laws as an attempt to "eliminate suburbs" and "destroy the lives of people who live in nice places."

Carlson accused the Obama administration of viewing "all those single-family homes—row upon leafy row, set back from the street, well-tended lawns and mailboxes" as examples of "structural racism." In fact, San Francisco designed its first zoning-related law in the 1870s, the Cubic Air Ordinance, to drive out Chinese boarding houses by imposing minimum square-footage rules.

Baltimore passed one of the nation's first zoning laws in 1910. Mayor J. Barry Mahool argued that, "Blacks should be quarantined in isolated slums in order to reduce the incidents of civil disturbance, to prevent the spread of communicable disease into the nearby white neighborhoods, and to protect property values among the white majority." Southern cities used zoning and freeway construction precisely to segregate African Americans.

Instead of stirring up resentment, conservatives could note that the era's progressives devised many of these rules. Mahool was known nationally for his concern about "social justice." Just as backers of early gun-control laws meant them to keep firearms out of the hands of minorities, backers of early zoning laws wanted to keep minorities on the wrong side of the tracks.

Single-family-only neighborhood zoning is a construct of earlier government policy, so there's nothing wrong with adjusting that policy to conform to new realities. Thankfully, various civil-rights laws, court decisions, and changing attitudes mean that anyone can now live in any darned neighborhood they can afford. But history is history.

California's modern progressives have created the state's current housing mess by passing urban-growth boundaries that drive up the cost of developable land, and by fighting construction of suburban developments. They refuse to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which ties up nearly every housing proposal in years of litigation.

They think that building $700,000-per-unit subsidized "affordable" housing projects is the best way to help lower-income people find better housing—rather than allowing the market to work its magic. But some progressives wisely support YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) land-use reforms, while many conservatives have become NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yarders).

The situation at the local level is bipartisan. Planners typically take what the late UC San Diego law professor Bernard Siegan called the "Mercedes Approach," by which city councils backed by angry residents "try to upgrade proposed developments" by forcing builders to offer more luxurious structures that don't threaten property values.

Fortunately, a San Diego court in May overturned an Oceanside referendum that rejected the council's approval of a housing project. Voters shouldn't decide what others do on their property. By the way, many local officials are apoplectic at a reasonable bill to let developers turn vacant retail centers into housing.

The goal should be to reduce regulations across the board, so builders can more easily respond to market demand by building whatever consumers want to buy. Defending antiquated zoning laws will not accomplish that objective, for the same reason government control of any product or service only distorts the supply and demand process.

Remember that as you get in a bidding war for that $1-million 800-square-foot condo.

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

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  1. the United States has grown by an astounding rate.

    that’s not a good thing. quality of life is falling and now you want to cram as many low-income tenements into the cities as possible. we’re headed for favela-territory if the libertarians have anything to say about it.

    also, all these gee-golly apartments and condos are cookie-cutter ugly and haven’t reduced rent/housing costs in the slightest. finally, this is all just a backdoor way to introduce cultures that don’t fit in so they can take advantage of certain school districts.

    as soon as I see you guys actually live amongst this junk and try to raise kids in it, then I’ll take your perspective seriously.

    1. Keep the slums in the cities

      1. Yes, keep them where they are. Spreading a problem over a wider area doesn’t even pretend to fix it. And diminishing others’ property values to pump up the bank account of wealthy developers doesn’t do what you think it does.

        Also, let’s take note that eliminating single family zoning only targets lower working class and middle class neighborhoods. Upper middle to upper class neighborhoods are completely unaffected [at least for now] because the price of that land is more and more importantly, they have HOA agreements that contractually restrict the sale of that land for anything outside it’s current use. Changing the zoning laws won’t affect them.

        I had this discussion with a local civil rights attorney who said she’d be just fine with them building affordable housing in her neighborhood, [except of course that wouldn’t work because the HOA restriction]. She was pretty pompous and self-evolved until I said I’d filed an offer to purchase some city-owned natural drainage area, which happened to be across the street from her and planned to build low income housing. I asked her to contact her friend, the city manager, and give her support. She and every other elitist leftist went nuts. “Totally inappropriate” was her term. Not in HER neighborhood.

        I’ve also proposed city regulations that nullify restrictive HOA covenants regarding selling property for multifamily dwellings. The pushback from the elitists, left and right, was humorously vitriolic at the least.

        1. If you don’t own it you don’t control it. I’m a fan of maintaining traditional use. Recall a few decades ago in Montgomery County, Maryland where the expansion of the federal government helped push for the expansion of high end housing. Folks bought McMansions neat an existing dump/transfer station that operated long hours. The beautiful people in their new homes worked hard to restrict/eliminate that facility. For those curious I believe it was owned and operated by a guy named Billy Mossberg. He also became famous when a councilor tried to get him to hire a hitman.

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      2. That’s exactly the point, is they’ve run out of room for more slums, so they want to offload their slums onto the suburbs.

        1. no. Zoning has caused developers to run out of room so they have to move out to where there is land. Remove the zoning restrictions and watch development boom in cities.

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    2. It also spreads the already high property taxes for the teachers union expansions to the residents who already live to the subsidized units. Your water bill will triple or quadruple too (subsidized utilities in my neck of the woods).

      Put the favelas in Beverly Hills or Palo Alto,perhaps next to Melissa Milano, Julia Louis Dreyfus or Zuckerbergs estates or better yet their vacation home bunkers. You guys go first!

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  2. Maybe in Cali. Here, every homebuilder is stretched to the max. And home prices continue to climb. Labor prices have increased as have building materials. How would zoning changes depress the prices?

    1. The biggest thing government can do is reduce permitting costs and end stupid building code regs like the solar panel mandate in CA. Also for their projects stop using wage scales.

      1. Does Cali require wage rates on privately funded projects?

        1. Not sure, I’d say doubtful (beside min wage) but who knows when dealing with Cali.

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        2. No not on private projects but many subdivisions for “economical” homes get government grants which then triggers wage scales.

        3. No. You just hire a bunch of totally legal tradesmen from the parking lot of the home depot to augment your core crew, usually.

          And in California, those mandates are probably not a big driver in new home prices. What they are is a driver in the TYPE of new home that gets build, however, since it is easier to amortize the fees over higher priced homes. But prices here are so batshit crazy they’re disconnected from the building costs when compared to places that actually have some inventory on the market for a homebuyer.

    2. They don’t go down, same thing in Colorado. Boulder is a dense wealthy Democrat intolerant shithole. But you can pay 800k for a 600 sq ft one bedroom that looks like a big porta potty, and pay &1000 bucks a month in Hoa dues and 600 bucks a month in property taxes, 300 a month water.

    3. “Antiquated Zoning Laws Are Worsening the Housing Crisis”

      I betcha Japan has antiquated zoning laws, and doesn’t have a housing crisis, at least in terms of too *little* housing.

      “Mass Immigration Is Worsening The Housing Crisis”
      Removing 40million illegal aliens from the US would open up a lot of housing stock quite quickly. But that doesn’t fit The Narrative here at Reason.

  3. Fuck off, Reason. Only an idiot would trust the feds, after centralizing zoning laws in DC, to maximize anything that resembles freedom. Fuck right off.

    1. The only people who think these ideas are great are people who live in places like California, which is fucked up because of California’s government. Instead of fixing their own problems themselves, they want to offload it to the rest of us.

      1. The only people who think these ideas are great are progressives.

        Greenhut is as Greenhut does.

      2. No, some of us know what happens.

        I grew up in an exurb. Small town in the county at the end of the freeway that runs to the bigger towns and city. Traffic was getting bad so the big push was “Densification” because more density means less traffic. They kept pushing that, pushing that, pushing that.

        When the laws came out all of the density restrictions got lifted, so my horse-town suddenly went from lots of houses on lots large enough to raise chickens or have a horse to hundreds of low-rent apartment buildings. No density increase in the cities, however, so all of these people get to live in crackerbox apartments but STILL have to drive on the now far more congested freeways to get to work.

        This is how central planning of density increases happen.

        1. Is the state MANDATE to build housing (expand government) via the state government in California constitutional ? Take it to SCOTUS.

  4. My daughter recently bought a condo in a 12 unit complex. 2 bedroom. $103k. $700 a month payment (with HOA fee $150). Nice brick unit with garage and community pool. In a residential neighborhood. Several units like it nearby. Not unusual for the Midwest.

    1. I wish her well and hope that investment turns out for her. Often they don’t in that price range, particularly if it happens as I suspect that the Administration tries to wedge low income families into mortgages that teeter between strain and break. Much of any success will depend on how aggressively the HOA deals with those whose actions threaten the desirability of living there.

      1. You never know. There is always risk. Housing in my city has been selling very quickly unless it is way overpriced. The neighborhood is really mixed in with residential housing. I am not a fan of condo’s either but it is equal to the cost of rental. I can do all the repairs of anything that comes up.

  5. This is stupid. Zoning laws aren’t driving the current bidding wars. The cost of building a new home has gone up ~$30k in the past year. So it really wouldn’t matter if they were building duplexes or singles, they’d still be $30k more expensive than they were a year ago.

    Additionally, there’s extremely low inventory right now because people aren’t selling like they were before the pandemic, AND there’s been a not insignificant exodus from cities and densely populated areas to suburbs. So people are choosing to move out of exactly the neighborhoods Greehut thinks are grand.

    Local zoning decisions belong at the local level. The federal government has no business dictating to podunk towns in fly over states what kind of codes they can have. All the problems he talks about are state level problems, that need to be resolved by state governments.

    And yes, the voters do have some say on what kind lf conditions they live in. As a resident and a voter, I do get some say in whether they build a 100 unit low income tenement on my block, because it affects not only my quality of life, but also my property taxes when all the other improvements like expanding roads and other public services to avcomodate the increased traffic and population have to be paid for.

    1. As a resident and a voter, I do get some say in whether they build a 100 unit low income tenement on my block

      “I say, I’m most unhappy with that tenement that’s going up!”

      1. As an investor, if I bought my house on the assumption that paying more meant living in a neighborhood with a certain standard for housing, when you build that tenement next to me you have destroyed my property value.

        This isn’t theoretical. My barber had that happen to her. Every lot on a country street 1/2 acre and somehow someone bribed enough council members to get a large crackerbox apartment building on the acre at the end of the street. She now deals with all the traffic, the constant police presence, the drug dealing, the kids sitting on the wall to her back yard and staring in her windows… none of this was mitigated by the city. Not even a widening of the road.

        There’s a difference between what should always have been and what is now. If forward passes and holding are illegal when I’m on offense, you can’t suddenly say those rules don’t apply when I’m on defense and expect me to just agree.

        1. “She now deals with all the traffic, the constant police presence, the drug dealing, the kids sitting on the wall to her back yard and staring in her windows…”

          Why do you hate all that cultural enrichment? Mass immigration is our strength, you bigot!

    2. Zoning most certainly is the key component of housing costs. If you can not build anything due to zoning laws, how does that not affect supply?

      1. That’s not reason for not building.

      2. If Chicago can maintain single family zoning at 79% and not yet run out of space, who can’t? The “great American dream” doesn’t include tenement and apartment living. It means making it to the point where you can afford your single family home.

    3. Yeah, zoning laws, lumber costs, wage scales, and the pandemic have some impact on prices. You left out the biggest one though:
      The Federal Reserve buying 40 billion dollars in mortgage backed securities (and 80 billion dollars in Treasuries) to keep interest rates artificially low.

      1. Buying that much (120 billion) every month. With no end in sight.

    4. Zoning isn’t responsible for the latest surge in prices. However, it is very much responsible for perennially high prices. If we are concerned about overpriced homes, we want to reduce regulation restricting supply, which includes zoning. This is basic economics and conservatives would accept this reasoning in just about every other area. But just like their champagne liberal neighbors, principles can be damned when it comes to propping up ones own property values.

  6. In California the flat land in the cities has been built up for decades. New housing is mostly on hillsides. That costs more.
    Another thing to consider when looking at zoning laws is what a change would do to those who bought homes under the old laws. If you paid $850,000 for your home and someone buys the home next door, tears it down, and builds a six unit apartment building to be rented out under low income housing rules, you will have lost about one-third of your home’s value. More than the principal. You are now deeply under water, and will never get out from under.

    1. strawman. Zoning says you can not build up on built up land, so there is no ability to add more supply. More supply will lower costs.

      1. not true you can tear down an existing house to build more housing

      2. First, lowering home values is NOT the goal of anyone who has bought ANY piece of property. If only you had as many clues as you do opinions.

        Second, building up [which is just another rule they can change when they want] is not the only direction. Eliminating single family zoning means jamming in as many units onto a lot as they can whether they be 1 or X stories. A formerly R3 piece of acreage here just got wiped out and they are planning 18 3-story homes on 3 acres of land, and that includes 12 ft wide streets and a 15’x25′ commons/playground.

  7. Yeah check out Houston sometime where the slums are all over the damn place the zoning is almost nonexistent and it looks like incredible shit. It’s a libertarian paradise all right.

    1. so the demand for “slums” is high and being met. I do not see a problem. Can you elaborate?

      1. Can we put one next to your place?
        How about your moms house? Or is that the same thing?

    2. And if you don’t like you can buy in a new neighborhood just a little farther out.

    3. The billionaires who pay these progressives paychecks don’t care what it looks like, they have 70 acre bunkers in Jackson Hole, Hamptons, Telluride, Palm Beach, Caribbean. You don’t think they’re in NYC or Southern CA all the time?

  8. I sometimes find it amusing that some folks who claim to support a “free-market” economy — free of government dictates — so often don’t support a free-market in housing.

    1. Yes, zoning laws are anti-libertarian. But don’t think for a second that there aren’t private means of ending up with identical results available. It’s basically the entire purpose of HOAs.

      1. I am quite familiar with HOAs, and their history of everything from trying to make it illegal to sell a house to certain “kinds of people,” usually meaning Blacks and Jews, to regulating the color of the car one can have parked in their drive-way (for real!). I would never own property controlled by an HOA.

        1. You might feel differently if someone was proposing to turn the house next to yours into a safe use site or a homeless tent encampment.

          1. freedom is a terrible thing, right? Everyone needs to do what you, the Top Man, dictates.

            1. My comment was referring to JG not ever buying a house in a neighborhood with an HOA. Zoning laws suck and shouldn’t exist. I’ve said that in this thread and below.

              HOAs have a purpose and would be part of that whole “freedom of association” thing libertarians seem so concerned about.

          2. Yep. Or even worse, sell the house to someone who doesn’t respect my rights to paint my house bright orange.

            1. HOAs can suck…hard. I’m only pointing out that they have a purpose and if the alternative is government intervention…I’m all in on the HOAs.

              Move to Austin, those people love weird stuff and the color orange.

              1. “HOAs can suck…hard. I’m only pointing out that they have a purpose and if the alternative is government intervention…I’m all in on the HOAs.”

                HOAs fall under the “right to free association.” I would rather retain control over my own property. And I certainly don’t want the people who will own my house when I am gone to be shackled with rules they had no say in making.

                1. But they will have a say in changing them.

                  1. Yep. As long as they can convince the other partners. Not easily done. I don’t want to go begging for permission to do what I want with my own property.

        2. Ummmm, the state of California IS dictating and mandating housing. Take it to SCOTUS.

    2. It is naive to expect your neighboring property to satisfy your desires if you do not own it.

      1. jeebus tell that to my douchebag next door neighbor

    3. Zoning laws certainly are not libertarian. However, maintaining a consistent set of rules is. Changing those rules so that some developer can make a few more million on the backs of everyone who depended on the original rules also isn’t libertarian.

  9. Zoning laws are stupid and people should be allowed to do whatever they want with their property. However, this won’t solve any of the problems Greenhut is talking about because every suburb, exurb and gentrified urban area across the country will bring in HOAs to do exactly the same thing that zoning laws do now.

    It’s better because the government has no business doing, well, anything, but especially not dictating the terms of use for people’s property. But it doesn’t mean interested parties won’t figure out a way to keep home values high through private means.

    1. Also if you get government out of subsidizing low income housing, the economics of building low income housing in a high property value area makes it prohibitive. The free market will do a lot of the sorting on its own.

      1. Low income housing is only even necessary because of all the zoning and building restrictions. There is a market for more affordable housing and if the government could stop being a bunch of paternalistic nanny-staters it would develop on its own.

        Instead we’ll get local communities setting up bad zoning laws and then the federal government overruling local governments to ban them making me wonder which is worse….bad zoning laws or federal overreach.

        It’s too early for this shit.

        1. Agree. End the War on Poverty!

          1. You would think that after over fifty years of losing the war on poverty, the government might at least do an about-face on strategy.

            But then, that would be assuming that the goal is to reduce poverty. It’s pretty easy to argue that the goal is to create a sizable, and ever-expanding, segment of the population totally reliant on the government for nearly everything.

            1. That, and its a jobs program. The homeless industrial complex. Do you really think the city employees sociology majors want to end homelessness with a sweet six figure salary and no accountability?

  10. “efforts to loosen up zoning laws as an attempt to “eliminate suburbs” and “destroy the lives of people who live in nice places.”
    Which is precisely why the push back to loosening up zoning is a bi-partisan effort. The blue voters, as much as the red voters, will turn out in force to oppose any kind of higher density housing in suburban properties zoned for single homes. NIMBY is pretty much blind to tribal voting habits.

    1. Yeah, I sort of noticed that, too.

    2. And they don’t want high density housing kids going to their kids’ schools.

    3. Nobody can tell me what’s wrong with NIMBY. Adults don’t want things that diminish their investment. It’s just that simple, and that includes you if you’re old enough to have thought it through for 2 minutes and have anything of value, which might just even be a peaceful existence.

      A libertarian friend had bought up enough property [$3 million worth] with an HOA that he was pretty sure made him bulletproof enough to wag his NIMBY-shaming finger at others. But 2 months after closing, the city announced a new 8 engine firehouse to be built across the street on what was then city park land. He spends a lot of time at the beach these days and hasn’t shamed any NIMBYs in two years.

  11. There’s no housing crisis, but rather opportunities.

    Here in Pittsburgh, the small century old single family home my wife and I have lived in live in for 35 years (in a neighborhood with very little crime) would sell for about $150K.

    But yet, left wing activists (here in the Burgh) continue to demand “affordable new housing” in several neighborhoods that were blighted since the 1960s (after the race riots) and are now being rebuilt with dozens of new 6 story office buildings, apartments. condos and shopping areas.

    When I was a grad school student (back in the 1980s), a group of us students rented an eight bedroom mansion in the city’s trendy and expensive Shadyside neighborhood for $1,000/month ($125/month per person).

    There are still many low cost housing options available (not just here in the Burgh, but everywhere in America), but left wing politicians and media (including Reason) insist upon portraying the housing market as in crisis.

  12. I guess Greenhut is done with freedom of association, as in a bunch of people voluntarily buy property zoned for single family housing, because that is what they prefer. And since houses are difficult to move, they rely on zoning.

    If you want to build condos, duplexes, auxiliary units, etc. look for other areas with other zoning (or no zoning).

    1. You have the right not to associate with people you don’t want to associate with — on your own property, in your own business, even on the street (you can totally ignore that person who says “hello” to you), but that does not grant you the right to control what someone else does with their own property.

      1. “You have the right not to associate with people you don’t want to associate with — on your own property, in your own business….”

        Except for Lester Maddox’s chicken restaurant and thousands of other businesses.

      2. Wrong…. it’s called due process under the law, and that actually is a constitutional right. You do have the right to control what someone else does with their own property if there is zoning law in place that limits it. Even if they file for a zoning change, all zoning laws give neighbors [even some who are not adjacent] a right to object and state their case, often either getting the request rejected or at least modified.

        That said, when parties have invested under mutual justifiable reliance on existing zoning laws, all parties involved have agreed to those stipulations as more or less a Terms of Service. If you don’t like the zoning, don’t buy the property. It is essentially a contract instituted and enforced by the governing authority. The question as to whether other parties have rights has only recently been looked at and not yet in any serious way. BUT I think there is a serious case to be made on the basis of their party beneficiary, which is a long-standing legal precedent in contract cases.

        Cato Institute scholar Randal O’Toole argues that single-family zoning is a form of property right: https://ti.org/pdfs/APB24.pdf

        1. Third Party Beneficiary, not “their party”.

      3. You don’t have the right to place 10 thousand people on a sewage system engineered for 1 thousand people sewage runs. Unless, of course, you would like to pay to dig up the streets and install new sewage lines and pay the new tap fees, pipe laying, inputs along with the expansion of the municipal water services and the 5 new water municipality employees hired for the expansion. While you’re at it, you can also pay for the expansion of the public schools to babysit four thousand new kids.

  13. I agree there is a real need to reform building codes and to especially allow higher density in cities. There is also a need to build housing a prices closer to what people can afford. There is real need for smaller more modest priced homes. The market seems to resist this idea and favors larger houses, ie. McMansion. I would like to know if money to subsidize rent or to assist with large mortgages could instead to used to entice builder and developers to create denser subdivisions with smaller houses.

    1. “I would like to know if money to subsidize rent or to assist with large mortgages could instead to used to entice builder and developers to create denser subdivisions with smaller houses.”

      Between 1960 and 1990, the size of the average new home basically doubled. That was because the increasing wealth of the middle-class allowed for it, and each kid could have their own bedroom (as a for-instance).

      I think with family-sizes shrinking we will probably see a slower growth in the size of new homes, though they will probably be even more “high-tech,” and not necessarily less expensive.

      Housing subsidies distort the market — just as encouraging three-percent-down mortgages and artificially low interest rates led to the housing crash of the earlier 2000’s. Excepting for possibly good outcomes from well-directed, and locally identified, projects, which might (might!) have some positive effects, the govt, in my opinion, needs to pretty much stay out of it.

      1. Between 1960 and 1990, the size of the average new home basically doubled. That was because the increasing wealth of the middle-class allowed for it, and each kid could have their own bedroom (as a for-instance).

        Yeah maybe. But the fact is that average household size was declining that whole time – 1960 (3.33) to 1990 (2.63) to now (2.53).

        Far more significantly – the % of households with a non-single-family-type structure went from 10% (1940) to 15% (1960) to 29% (1990) to 34% (now).

        The % of housing structures (or dwelling units actually) with a non-single-family-type structure has been dropping that entire time. From higher than the household % when housing subsidies first started. ie back then single-family houses were actually underprovided rel to the structure of families themselves. To massively lower than household % now. ie single-family homes are overprovided and getting more overprovided every year – with now increasing pressure by those single-family-units to keep or enhance the distortions and subsidies even more. Zoning being one sort of pressure.

        The ‘free market’ has not really been working since WW2. And we all know the elephant in the room.

        1. “The ‘free market’ has not really been working since WW2. And we all know the elephant in the room.’

          Ya think?

    2. There is real need for smaller more modest priced homes. The market seems to resist this idea and favors larger houses, ie. McMansion.

      Generally it is because land is being subsidized. If the land for a back yard and a white picket fence and a pool and a driveway and a separate garage and a gazebo and a playhouse and a doghouse and ooh how about a garden – is all pretty much free of annual costs; then who is gonna economize on land. Esp when money for mortgages is basically free as well.

  14. Lost of people love the idea of “Manhattanization” of suburban areas to provide more housing for “others”.

    Those people do NOT live in the areas that will be destroyed by the changes.

  15. Ending single-family zoning doesn’t ban single-house.

    actually quite often it does

  16. I was mad when our mobile home park, which requires double wides, had another mobile home park go in across the street and that community allowed single wides.

    1. Hunting for Kirklands over bait is illegal, you know… 😉

  17. The problem is that people in the suburbs like their neighborhood as they are and have a very potent weapon to keep them that way:
    They vote.

    1. The “problem” is that people get to vote on how they live their lives and the community they want? Oh my… scandalous! People have no right to like where they live. How dare people actually not defer to experts and politicians.

      Fuck you slaver.

      1. Pretty sure that was sarc….

  18. It pisses me off that lawyers, developers and the politicians who write these laws live in HOA protected subdivisions that prohibit any change to their surroundings, yet they virtue lecture that others should not object, and that any objection is cold-hearted [insert racism charge].

  19. “Antiquated Zoning Laws Are Worsening the Housing Crisis”

    Bullshit; there is no ‘housing crisis’.
    First, there is no reason for the government to be involved in zoning, but the claim here is bullshit. If you wish to support it, please provide evidence of a ‘housing crisis’, you’ve yet to do so, and it’s likely you are full of shit.
    People buying homes bought in certain areas because of certain reasons, among them the limitations on larger structures, agreed by the buyers, which implied contract is enforced (properly) by the government.
    You now propose to have the government change those contractual limitations bc you hope that might solve some fantasy “housing crisis”?
    You lose the ‘argument’ since you haven’t supported your initial claim, and further since you hope to have the government change the rules under which the owners bought.
    Do you come from the far-left wing of libertarianism?

  20. Wouldn’t it be better to have a thriving free market economy so we wouldn’t need low income housing?

  21. That’s exactly the point, is they’ve run out of room for more slums, so they want to offload their slums onto the suburbs.

    Bengali Shayari

    Birthday Wish SMS

  22. Zoning laws have a place. Tying them to ancient racist motives is as intellectually dishonest as blaming a 4-year old white kid in Kansas for slavery. I recently retired and built a home in a semi-rural area with large lots. Our neighborhood is ethnically diverse with a common theme of wanting peace, quiet and a little elbow room. We saved and sacrificed for it. I don’t want some developer building a 5 story apartment building next door. Does that make me selfish? Maybe. But less selfish than a person who would disrupt the lives of an entire neighborhood so he can line his pockets and leave. The housing crisis has always been about regulation, supply and demand. You want lower costs? Build more units be they homes or apartments. Zoning laws don’t prevent that; ridiculous government regulations do. How long does it take a developer to get permission to build an apartment complex in California in an area already zoned for it? Changing the zoning won’t change that.

    1. I checked into both building a large shop with the extra space/land we have and a little mother-in-law cottage; the red tape is absolutely ridiculous. It is doable in an almost reasonable amount of time, but the amount of hurdles is absurd. Govt regulation at its best.

      I cant even imagine what it would be like in a regulation happy state like California. I saw some article that Bill Maher (I guess he still has a show?) has been making comments that its taken 3 years to build a shed to store the batteries for solar panels. In a blue, climate change obsessed state, they have so much regulation they cant even facilitate their citizens who are trying to achieve the same goal they want.

  23. You, dear author, are either an addlepated poltroon, an absolute ninny – or both. It is not just the nose of the camel you’re sticking under the tent, but the whole Damned animal and the Tent City he brings with him.

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