By limiting housing supply, we push up the price of housing (both renting and purchasing). Renters respond to this by either moving further away from their work or paying more in monthly rent.

Home owners? They like it.
Effectively, #NIMBY is a huge regressive tax.

Imagine you make $40k and spend $700 on a 1 bdrm in Madison. Over the past few years your rent probably went up by $1,500/yr. That's the same as if your federal taxes had increased by 50%.

Fifty Percent!!
Imagine if Republicans or Democrats proposed increasing income taxes by 50% on the lowest income earners in our country. Totally regressive. There would be a HUGE deal about this. Especially from the left. As there should be.
But rising housing costs don't cause the same outrage. Why? Well, first off because voters are mostly home owners. And home owners feel like the piggy bank they call their house is something that SHOULD go up in price, above inflation, always. And the more it goes up, the better!
What people want is some magical realism where housing is affordable to renters and they (home owners) get to participate in the "American Dream" of having their house become as valuable as those in silicon valley.

This can't happen. This has never happened. This won't happen.
And it definitely won't happen if your approach to a **lack of Supply** is to subsidize **demand**. It might *feel* like that's the way to have your cake and eat it too, but subsidizing demand won't lower price in these kinds of markets.…
We've tried the demand subsidy approach in many other markets with inelastic supply (education/healthcare).

One example in real estate is the mortgage interest deduction which was intended to create more home owners.

It did not do this.…
So what would help renters?

Build more housing.

Want an example? From 2010 Madison's population grew by ~15k. Our housing stock grew by ~3k. With roughly 2.2 people/unit, we under-built by about 4k housing units.

What would you predict happened to rent prices?
They went up.

During this same 5 year period, the average rent listing for a 1 bedroom in Madison went up from $700 to $1,100.

A paltry 57% increase. Btw, average incomes of these renters did not go up by 57%.…
Had we as a city focused on helping people on the lower end of the economic spectrum, we would have Built More Housing (#YIMBY).

It's not like we don't have land and we don't have willing developers who would like to earn returns developing it.

We simply lack the focus.
One last issue.

Remember when I mentioned that some folks move further away in order to maintain their rent/income ratio? That isn't without hidden taxes.

When you move out, everything is further away. Want to take the bus into work? Good luck.
The bus routes out there are less dense geographically (so you'll need to walk further to get to the bus stop) and they are less dense temporally (so you'll need to plan on a bus that runs once an hour vs once every 15 minutes.

I've done this. It sucks, believe me.
Oh and in Madison, you'll probably be funneled through a transfer station where your travel time will be even longer. That 15 minute drive to work is now an hour and fifteen minute bus ride. Each way. Every day.

This is what a lack of density does though.
Madison is a great city that people want to move to. We can be like the numerous other cities that did not get out in front of the housing issue and just let poor people suffer, like they normally do.

OR, we can build enough housing to keep up with demand. #UpNotOut #YIMBY
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