Don’t Regulate the Suburbs: America Needs a Housing Policy That Works

Publication, Housing Affordability, Wendell Cox

Executive Summary

  • Restrictive state and local land-use regulations are a key factor in escalating housing prices.
  • These escalating prices have contributed to high rates of foreclosure that are concentrated in regions with restrictive land-use regulations.
  • The implementation of “smart growth” strategies in many communities has contributed to restrictive land regulations.

  • Areas with less land-use regulation consistently sustain affordable housing prices, while regions with greater regulation consistently sustain prices that are unaffordable to the majority of those living in the region.
  • Such land-use regulations are not unique to the United States; other countries, where housing prices have soared even higher, have recognized their harm and are now attempting to reform them.
  • Future federal housing-assistance programs should be linked to a requirement to lessen the burden of these regulations.
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    Reprinted with the permission of The Heritage Foundation.