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How to make housing cheaper

April 16th, 2017
politics, ideas

Big coastal American cities have a problem: too many people want to live there. Overall this is much better than the reverse, but lots of people wanting to move in drives up housing costs, and people get forced out. What can we do?

Overall, the best way to bring down the cost of housing is for there to be more of it. This can mean any combination of more housing space, more units, and more bedrooms. Here are ideas for how we could do this:

This list is an attempt at compromise: let more people live in the cities where they want to, without big changes to how neighborhoods feel. I'm not advocating letting people build skycrapers in the middle of suburbs, or up-to-the-sidewalk five storey apartment buildings. But if we keep letting prices rise without building anything our cities will continue to reflect a smaller and smaller fraction of the people who want to live in them, and who should be living in them.

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