I stumbled across an interesting document from 2002 produced by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Entitled "Barriers to Minority Homeownership," it details some of the primary obstacles facing low-income minorities seeking to buy a home. Primary reasons given deal with a lack of capital for downpayment and access to credit – no surprise given that we’re talking about low-income people.
Of greater interest was point number 4, "Regulatory Burdens." Read the following points and tell me where you have heard them before:
- "The high cost of housing often results from a web of government regulations. Federal, state, and local codes, processes and controls delay and drive up the cost of new construction and rehabilitation.
- In some states, developers report that excessive regulation adds 25 to 35 percent to the cost of a new house.
- communities with the most restrictive land use and zoning regulations often have affordable housing shortages."
I’ll give you a hint, it ain’t from the "smart growth" advocates on the left. It never ceases to amaze me how they can call for more open space, zoning regulation, impact fees and building regulation and then complain about the lack of affordable housing.