04 August 2016

Affordable Housing Is All About Land Use Regulation

A comparison of Tokyo, which has very limited land use regulation, with London and San Francisco, which have very strict land use regulation, demonstrates pretty dramatically that land use regulation is the dominant factor driving rising home prices in major urban areas.


Anonymous said...

While I am for more freedom to use your property as you like, the reason that Japanese real estate is 'cheap' is rooted in macro economic problems s in Japan for the past 20 years.

As Denver gets more and more people, I am against ever increasing density while we don't upgrade roads or try to force people into public transport. I moved here 10 years ago and I wouldn't do it again and I'll leave as soon as my kids grow up. Between illegal aliens who never learned how to drive, idiot Californians either being idiots and/or high, and people lolligaging on the roads, Denver is become less and less livable.

If the idea is to cram more houses/condos into the same area, that just makes it less livable.

Let me clarify it. Developers are not doing small-lot/high-density housing because it is 'sustainable'- it's 'green' another way. Developers don't make money selling lawns- they make money on buildings. The second thing they hate is putting in parking. Look at Glendale and the mess they have at that place along the creek with out enough parking. Now the people and the local govt have to put it in on their own dime, while the developers got rich selling square feet of retail space.

With all the talk about higher taxes to increase the number of affordable housing- how about building roads?

Kevin Dickson said...


Thanks for weighing in on this issue again. City Council in Denver does all the land use regulation with some advice from the city's Dept. of Planning and Development.

Unfortunately, our City Councilpersons have almost no training in city planning & zoning, and they usually ignore the advice from the paid professionals. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" and in this case the squeaky wheel is the neighborhoods who don't want to change their "character".

And as Jane Jacobs pointed out in 1958, back then the professionals had no idea what they were doing. There was no understanding of cause and effect, so the urban renewal strategies of the 60s replaced all the existing inner city affordable housing with parking lots.