JCHS: State and Federal Governments Support Needed to Tackle Housing Affordability

Daniel McCue with the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies argues in a new blog post that even the largest cities will need help tackling housing affordability. “Several big cities have come forward to revise zoning and land use regulations to open up land and allow higher densities of housing development. Some have also made permitting procedures faster or less cumbersome, others have reduced requirements such as those for allocated parking to lower development costs, and a few have legalized less costly housing options such as accessory dwelling units. Many have also dedicated local funds to build and preserve affordable housing. With 73 percent of the population in the nation’s top 16 largest metro areas living outside the three largest cities, efforts in smaller suburban cities and towns will be just as necessary to solve regional housing affordability challenges, even if they do not garner the headlines that big-city efforts may get. While many such places are indeed taking steps to reduce barriers to development on their own, most are not, which underscores the need for additional involvement from state and federal governments to spur the level of change needed at the local level to address regional housing problems.”