At last month’s REBIC Forum, keynote speaker Wendell Cox and a panel of local experts discussed ways in which local regulation and land use policies constrain the supply of affordable housing in a community, and limit the ability of middle-class Americans to achieve the dream of homeownership
Cox, an author and demographer who studies housing affordability across the United States and 8 other nations, argued that land use constraints such as urban growth boundaries, density caps and large minimum lot sizes make it increasingly difficult for private-sector builders and developers to deliver housing for middle- and working-class residents.
While anti-sprawl policies are popular with planners, community groups and elected officials, Cox argued they ultimately exacerbate the housing affordability crisis by reducing opportunity for buyers to find housing on the urban fringe, where land prices are far lower than in the urban core.
Following Cox’s presentation, a panel of local housing experts discussed strategies for improving Charlotte’s supply of affordable units. Multifamily developer John Porter, with Charter Properties, said ‘every regulation adds to the cost’ of housing, and encouraged City officials to look for ways to roll back burdensome development rules.
Pamela Wideman, Deputy Director for Charlotte’s Neighborhood & Business Services division, said the City is making progress on its proposal to expand the affordable housing supply by 5,000 units in the next 3 years, but acknowledged policymakers were still looking for new ways to meet the ambitious goal.
REBIC appreciates all the sponsors and presenters who helped make this year’s REBIC Forum such a huge success!