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Rich,

If more affordable housing is not being created, new development is not keeping up with demand. The only way to create more affordable housing within a market context is to exceed demand. Merely keeping up with demand will not move the needle, and if urban housing becomes more desirable, affordable housing will further go away.

So, yes Manhattan has added more stock and the city hasn't gotten more affordable, but that's because the new stock is still lagging demand. Other market distortions such as parking minimums keep housing artificially high. Not only does parking infrastructure take up space that could be used for housing or something else more productive, but it is housing that is geared towards wealthier residents. Get rid of parking minimums, allow developers to build buildings or units without spaces, and watch as those units are more affordable. These units would also not be particularly desirable for wealthy residents who want to own cars or multiple cars in an urban area.

The kind of people who need affordable housing are also the kinds of people that can't afford cards. It's crazy that Manhattan has had parking requirements. It's also crazy that the idea of building units without parking gets people all upset in the Downtown Silver Spring area too.

Additionally development has created more affordable housing in Chicago and other cities. You can get a pretty decent condo on the North Side of Chicago for significantly less than you can in Silver Spring.

by Patrick Thornton on Jan 28, 2013 12:44 pm • linkreport

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