Sunday, April 11, 2021

How Deregulation Can Solve America’s Shortage of Affordable Housing

The idea of scaling back all the regulations surrounding building just about anything has been one of the biggest hindrances to affordable housing in the US. In this article, Dustin Romney, the author, points out some of the dumb regulations every builder has faced at one time or the other.

Unfortunately, many progressive era regulatory regimes remain and are in far more labyrinthine form than originally crafted. Among them, land use regulation calls out for attention. Originally sold as a mechanism for nuisance prevention, zoning laws were quickly adapted to tackle a host of perceived ills. Today, the dominant theme of land use regulation has little to do with nuisance prevention and focuses almost exclusively on the “character” of the neighborhood – sometimes to preserve it and other times to change it.

Take, for example, the 230-page zoning ordinance in the Town of Queen Creek, Arizona where I am currently navigating the permitting process to build a home. It includes no less than 30 different zoning designations, including such arcane distinctions as residential zones where the minimum lot size may be 7,000 square feet or 9,000 square feet. If many people bothered to peruse their local zoning ordinance, they might be surprised to learn that 7,000 square foot lots were such a threat to 9,000 square foot lots.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Freedom for Economic Education article

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. 

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