The Niskanen Center released an Agenda for Abundant Housing. The Niskanen Center is a unique Washington DC public policy think tank that calls itself ”transpartisan” as it makes recommendations for policy change that tackles challenging problems – climate change, immigration reform, and criminal justice reform.
In the Agenda for Abundant Housing, the Center takes on the challenge of affordable housing, considering the reasons for the current situation, describing how supply restrictions work, looking at economic and political considerations, and ending with three specific policy recommendations for action. The main conclusion of the report is that the affordability problem can be attributed to regulation and growth control that has led to a shortage of housing nationwide. The three recommendations are:
- Center land use regulation authority at the level of government that can best ensure housing is created. The report doesn’t conclude that there is one particular answer, though suggests that regional housing policy may be ideal. However, it does highlight the success of the State of California in adopting measures that remove barriers and promote local action and agrees that states should have the ability to preempt growth controls in job-rich and transit-oriented areas.
- Ensure that the benefits of urban growth are highlighted while mitigating any negative impact.
- Take action to reduce construction costs at all governmental levels, including building code regulation reform and regulatory reform that allows for innovative construction methods.