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New Approaches to Affordable Housing

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Publication Date: May 2005

Publisher(s): Reason Foundation

Author(s): Chris Fiscelli

Topic: Social conditions (Housing)

Type: Brief


Housing affordability and availability issues are firmly planted on the radar of local and, increasingly, state officials. With housing prices continuing to rise, there will be no shortage of highly-charged political activism and rhetoric regarding housing for low- and moderate-income earners. But housing affordability is a regional or market-by-market problem and broad one-size-fits-all policies are ineffective, especially at the statewide level. Moreover, currently popular policies such as inclusionary zoning have too many unintended consequences and have the reverse effect of increasing housing prices. A range of policy options can help increase the affordability of homes in a region. Policymakers should focus on these options that work within the realities of how housing markets work and the economics of homeownership.