Public housing is not the answer
America needs more housing of many kinds, and that means land use reforms
A renewed round of public housing construction is a plausible thing to try, but writers and activists who want to make it the centerpiece of a solution to America’s housing problems are barking up the wrong tree.
The country is suffering from a severe shortage of housing that, while not present all across the country, is salient in a large number of high-income metro areas.
And pandemic-induced rent drops in New York, San Francisco, and other central cities don’t really address the problem. It’s always been the case that the majority of the people and land area are in the suburbs, and despite a lot of speculation about the future of remote work, the real estate markets in the suburbs of America’s big expensive coastal cities are hotter than ever. For working-class people who generally can’t work remotely, access to the lucrative job markets in coastal metropolitan areas remains extremely valuable. But not valuable enough to be worth the current market price of rent, which for the past…
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