Realigning Housing Coalitions

post by jefftk (jkaufman) · 2019-10-08T11:10:01.584Z · score: 10 (4 votes) · LW · GW · 1 comments There are currently two main coalitions in US housing politics in high cost-of-living areas:

This division has been shifting some, however, with the development of density bonus programs. The idea is, developers are allowed to build more units than zoning would normally allow, but they also have to make a larger fraction of them available below market rate. For example, an affordable housing bonus density program could apply to a property where current zoning would allow eight $1M units and two affordable $400k units, and offer an option of ten $1M units and ten affordable $400k units. Programs like this have several advantages:

Other programs along these lines could include:

These have the same structure, allowing higher density in exchange for improvements elsewhere: affordability, traffic, parking, number of family-sized units, displacement. A coalition along these lines could be pretty broad, and include most of the the anti-displacement, affordable housing, developer, business, and YIMBY camps. I'm sad that Cambridge's affordable housing overlay proposal has been put on hold after only getting 5/9 councillors when it needed 6/9, but I think future efforts in this direction are very promising.

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comment by Dagon · 2019-10-08T13:59:48.494Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Unfortunately (or perhaps not), it's not possible in the modern world to make trades and compromises. Democracy won, everything is visible and everything is too public and obvious to quietly give up some of your goals in order to meet others. There's no "in exchange for" anymore.

Voters and public figures want exactly their plan, and will not support those who alter it.