Too many communities across this country limit the ability of Americans to freely and fairly choose where and how they live by enacting onerous regulations that restrict housing growth and drive up costs. A 2016 study by National Association of Home Builders, for example, found that government regulations—such as construction standards or permit and impact fees—account for nearly a quarter of the price of a new single-family home. What’s more, as the work of economist Jonathan Rothwell suggests, regulations that prevent the construction of new housing in dense urban environments are a major driver of segregation. In recent testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, I made the case that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development should empower communities to reduce barriers to affordable housing choice by incentivizing concrete reforms and innovation. Read and watch the testimony.
Michael Hendrix is director of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute.
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