Friday, March 23, 2012

The Rent Is Too Damn High

The Rent Is Too Damn HighThe Rent Is Too Damn High by Matthew Yglesias

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Matt Yglesias is a young journalist, formerly with The Center for American Progress, who is now writing on the economy for Slate magazine. Anyone who has followed his recent reporting or Twitter feed is aware that one recent focus of his work has been the supply-limiting effects of needless regulation, and particularly building and zoning codes. Now, taking his lead from Jimmy McMillan, the recent joke candidate for New York Governor on "The Rent Is Too Damn High" ticket, Yglesias lays out his argument for increasing the supply of creating affordable housing in desirable locations by reducing or eliminating zoning and building requirements that distort the market.



Yglesias's targets include building height limitations, minimum lot size requirements, and parking requirements that subsidized car ownership. Yglesias argues that not only do these regulations force up housing prices, they also prevent cities from creating the dense, walkable neighborhoods that Boomers and Gen Xers want.



Think liberals are always trying to impose restrictive regulations on private enterprise? "The Rent Is Too Damn High" is a rebuttal of those claims. Concerned about the cost of housing and how the market can address the housing needs of your community? Then you should read this and start talking to your city's planning and zoning departments about what they're doing to fix things.



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