2023 Year in Review: Top stories on tackling housing supply crisis

The pro-housing movement made tremendous progress across the nation in 2023. Efforts to increase access to a diversified housing supply and educate lawmakers and the public on the housing crisis and the remedies that are within reach are gaining momentum nationwide.

Here are six articles to read before the new year:

1. Financial Times: Repeat after me: building any new homes reduces housing costs for all (Sept. 14)

One of the most persistent and/or stickiest barriers to the housing abundance mindset is “supply skepticism” — that is, the belief that the housing market is exempt from the economic law of supply and demand. Supply skeptics claim that new development raises nearby home prices and is thus insufficient to moderate home prices. But consider the data in the attached article from Minneapolis, Minnesota — a city that has built more housing per capita than any other large city in the Midwest, and as a result has seen a 20% drop in rent prices since 2017.

2. Zillow: Across 29 Metro Areas, Residents Largely Support Allowing Missing Middle Homes in Residential Neighborhoods (May 31)
3. Pew: Survey Finds Large Majorities Favor Policies to Enable More Housing (Nov. 30)

Despite loud opposition to pro-housing measures, data from Zillow and Pew Trusts finds that people are far more open to diverse housing in their neighborhoods than vocal opposition to pro-housing proposals would suggest.

4. Pew: Lot-Size Reform Unlocks Affordable Homeownership in Houston (Sept. 14)

Changes in land use policy create real and lasting results for middle class families. A reduction in Houston’s minimum lot size requirement led to the construction of 34,000 townhomes from 2007-2020, providing family-sized homes in the city’s urban core at lower prices. As of this spring, Houston was one of four cities in the country where it was cheaper to own a home than rent, and was also the only major city to increase its Black population, dispelling the myth that increasing housing density displaces people of color.

5. Wall Street Journal: Only Zoning Reform Can Solve America’s Housing Crisis (June 22)

The case for zoning reform begins with examining zoning’s racially segregationist roots and continues through the economic segregation and market distortions caused by zoning that artificially raise home prices.

6. Dallas Morning News: How this Texas bill can reduce housing costs (Aug. 16)

One of the most significant pro-housing bills passed in the 88th legislative session was House Bill 14, which streamlines onerous and inefficient municipal permitting and inspection processes. Allowing qualified third parties to review permits and conduct building inspections can speed up the process. That potentially alleviating costs like those associated with the 1,470 steps that a site plan permit goes through in Austin.

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