Friday, May 27, 2022

Prospects for a Unified Approach to Housing Affordability, Housing Equity, and Climate Change

I just posted on SSRN an article I wrote for the Vermont Law Review, which might be of interest to some of you.  The article is "Prospects for a Unified Approach to Housing Affordability, Housing Equity, and Climate Change," and is available here.  The abstract is below:

This symposium Article investigates competing tensions among housing activists today and proposes several solutions around which those activists could unite that may also be attractive to the development community. First, the Article defines and investigates three types of housing advocates operating today: the affordability activists, which are primarily concerned with increasing housing affordability; the equity activists, which are concerned with providing homes in areas that assist with de-concentrating poverty and its ill effects; and the environmental activists, which today focus increasingly on reducing climate change effects through land use planning. While these activists have overlapping goals, they are often at odds on policy prescriptions, which this Article analyzes. The Article then investigates how the dissonance between the housing activists can be resolved by considering development through the lens of the entity that is charged with building housing: the private developer subject to real-life market demands. Several proposals are discussed, as well as why certain fashionable concepts of the day--such as eliminating single-family districts--are unlikely to result in significant new housing production.

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