Environmental Regulations Cause Housing Crisis in Cities
(p. 16) The developed world's wealthiest cities are facing housing crises so acute that not only low-income workers, but also the middle and creative classes, find them increasingly difficult places to afford.
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(p. 19) The difficulty of deciding where and what to build means that cities with a shortfall of hundreds of thousands of apartments often have only the vaguest plans for how to meet the deficit.
"It's not that it would be physically impossible," says Ed Glaeser, a Harvard economist who has studied housing and deregulation. "After all, the construction industry would love such a challenge. But it's politically totally impossible." Glaeser says cities approve lovely things like landmark districts and sidewalk setbacks without doing any cost-benefit analysis of their effect on housing supply. "One of my pet peeves is that environmental reviews are only focused on the local environmental impact of building the project, but not the global environmental impact of not building the project."
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(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date APRIL 29, 2014, and has the title "It's the Economy; Rent Too High? Move to Singapore.")