By Emily Badger, The New York Times
The housing secretary wants to encourage mixed-income, multifamily development as a way of making housing more affordable. But it’s a notion homeowners of all political leanings tend to oppose.
Ben Carson, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, wants to spur construction of mixed-income, multifamily housing all over the country. If we had more of it, he argues, homes would be affordable to more families, and they’d have more options of where to live.
He is probably right. But the kind of housing he describes is impractical, illegal or too costly to build in much of the United States today, in suburbs and big cities alike. Blocking it are: zoning rules that allow only single-family homes; laws that dictate the size of yards; elaborate permits that drive up development costs; and rules that grant neighbors a veto over what is built.