The other day the SF Chronicle released an editorial about the effect that NIMBYism…I mean, perseveration and progress…wait I mean, slow growth…wait no, “responsible development”has on the economy in general. The editorial is based on the White House, yes THAT White House, Housing Development Toolkit.
From the editorial:
There’s growing recognition that aggressive housing development regulation — like the kind found all over the Bay Area — is terrible for the whole country. It’s a sign of how important zoning — once the most local of issues — has become to the U.S. economy that the Obama administration is now weighing in.
In a report called the Housing Development Toolkit, the White House upbraided the U.S.’s desirable metro areas for their NIMBYism: “The growing severity of under-supplied housing markets is jeopardizing housing affordability for working families, increasing income inequality by reducing less-skilled workers’ access to high-wage labor markets, and stifling GDP growth by driving labor migration away from the most productive regions.”
From the Toolkit:
Locally-constructed barriers to new housing development include beneficial environmental protections, but also laws plainly designed to exclude multifamily or affordable housing. Local policies acting as barriers to housing supply include land use restrictions that make developable land much more costly than it is inherently, zoning restrictions, off-street parking requirements, arbitrary or antiquated preservation regulations, residential conversion restrictions, and unnecessarily slow permitting processes. The accumulation of these barriers has reduced the ability of many housing markets to respond to growing demand.
Accumulated barriers to housing development can result in significant costs to households, local economies, and the environment.
It’s like the Obama administration is speaking directly about Alameda.
[T]he availability of quality, affordable housing is foundational for every family – it determines which jobs they can access, which schools their children can attend, and how much time they can spend together at the end of a day’s commutes.
This part is important to the City Council candidates out there coughjenniferroloffcough who simply think that creating affordable housing without market rate housing is possible:
When rental and production costs go up, the cost of each unit of housing with public assistance increases, putting a strain on already-insufficient public resources for affordable housing, and causing existing programs to serve fewer households.
And for those that think that only job development is necessary for a healthy economy:
Significant barriers to new housing development can cause working families to be pushed out of the job markets with the best opportunities for them, or prevent them from moving to regions with higher-paying jobs and stronger career tracks. Excessive barriers to housing development result in increasing drag on national economic growth and exacerbate income inequality.
Huge report, I’ll be posting more about it later.