4.26.2016

Too Long for a Tweet, Too Short for a Blog Post XXXIII

http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/us/2015/12/29/space-strapped-san-francisco-mines-historic-african-american-neighborhood-for/_jcr_content/par/featured-media/media-0.img.jpg/876/493/1451375268140.jpg?ve=1&tl=1
Here are some excerpts from an article I just read, "The Disconnect Between Liberal Aspirations and Liberal Housing Policy is Killing Coastal U.S. Cities":

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The real problem here is that housing is never just a question of "build" or "don't build." It's "build here" or "build somewhere else."And if you live in a coastal U.S. city, somewhere else is usually way worse for the environment. People don't disappear just because they can't move to our cities; they move to the suburbs of Texas, where housing continues to be produced in abundance and, as a result, costs have stayed reasonably low.  Opposing development on behalf of the environment is essentially "greenwashing," and we need to acknowledge it for the lie that it is. It's an environmental crime, not a triumph. We don't celebrate the environment by moving into its midst and paving it over. In many metro areas, household emissions in the suburbs are roughly double those of city households. Another way of putting that: In terms of environmental impact, each time we turn away a person from our green, efficient cities, we're effectively cloning them and shipping them off to the suburbs of Texas to do twice as much harm. 

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We've allowed mostly wealthy, mostly white homeowners to dictate our future and leave us fighting over the scraps of the housing market, even as their homes each increase in value by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. We debate how to raise a few billion dollars for affordable housing on the backs of new residents—enough to build a couple thousand low income homes, maybe—while the value of single-family homes in Los Angeles County alone have increased by $500 billion over the past 25 years. We've been convinced that the built environment—not the people who inhabit it—is what makes a community; that neighborhood integrity is about the character of buildings, not that of our neighbors. This is not a liberal ideal. Rather than turn these people away, we need to recognize that new residents are just people like us, looking for a better life and new opportunities. Adding enough new homes so that they can find somewhere to live is a very small ask. We have to stop acting as though the subjective value of "neighborhood character" (which has always been and will always be a moving target) is of equal importance to the hard economic realities of unaffordable housing, inequity of opportunity, and homelessness. The latter issues are clearly of greater importance, and if you're willing to sacrifice them at the altar of "neighborhood character" then you need to take a moment and seriously question your commitment to progressive, inclusive values.

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The reason housing is growing as a share of capital income is because housing has become so much more expensive over the last few decades, especially in coastal U.S. cities. Home and property owners are raking it in. We have a system in which relatively affluent residents in our cities each own a hugely valuable capital asset—their land and the home that it sits upon—which is appreciating at nearly double-digit rates each year, while everyone else just gets to pay more for rent, forever. So long as housing production and vacancies stay low, that trend will continue. There is a wealth inequality crisis afoot, and liberal cities are its greatest perpetrator. San Francisco is the vanguard of this movement: the most liberal city in the U.S., and one in which it is nearly impossible to afford unless you are very rich (enough to afford $3,000/month rents or $1 million homes) or very poor (and therefore eligible for a small number of subsidized housing units). It's a "poor door" masquerading as a city, and the rest of us are on the same trajectory.  The outcomes of our housing policies fly in the face of our ideology. For those in need, we support providing supplementary income, health insurance, educational support, and other social welfare programs—and then we erase their value by making our cities too expensive for those most in need of these benefits. Either low income residents can't afford to live in the city at all, or the cost of housing is so high that the value of the benefits is exceeded by the added cost of rent.  By doing essentially nothing but letting things happen, conservative America is kicking our ass at providing opportunities for low income and working classes to build wealth and get ahead. Cities like Dallas, Phoenix, and Atlanta have managed to stay affordable by simply allowing housing to continue to be built as their populations grow, and the result is that people keep moving there. As someone in his early 30s who is wondering how I'll ever be able to buy a home and build wealth for myself, I see the appeal. And that sucks, because I have no interest in living in any of those places. There will always be a premium to be paid for living in a great city, but the premium in our coastal cities is far beyond reason.


 

The real problem here is that housing is never just a question of "build" or "don't build." It's "build here" or "build somewhere else."And if you live in a coastal U.S. city, somewhere else is usually way worse for the environment. People don't disappear just because they can't move to our cities; they move to the suburbs of Texas, where housing continues to be produced in abundance and, as a result, costs have stayed reasonably low.
Opposing development on behalf of the environment is essentially "greenwashing," and we need to acknowledge it for the lie that it is. It's an environmental crime, not a triumph. We don't celebrate the environment by moving into its midst and paving it over.
In many metro areas, household emissions in the suburbs are roughly double those of city households. Another way of putting that: In terms of environmental impact, each time we turn away a person from our green, efficient cities, we're effectively cloning them and shipping them off to the suburbs of Texas to do twice as much harm.
- See more at: http://www.betterinstitutions.com/blog/2016/3/27/liberal-cities-housing-policy-hypocrisy#sthash.DO69Qnts.dpuf
The real problem here is that housing is never just a question of "build" or "don't build." It's "build here" or "build somewhere else."And if you live in a coastal U.S. city, somewhere else is usually way worse for the environment. People don't disappear just because they can't move to our cities; they move to the suburbs of Texas, where housing continues to be produced in abundance and, as a result, costs have stayed reasonably low.
Opposing development on behalf of the environment is essentially "greenwashing," and we need to acknowledge it for the lie that it is. It's an environmental crime, not a triumph. We don't celebrate the environment by moving into its midst and paving it over.
In many metro areas, household emissions in the suburbs are roughly double those of city households. Another way of putting that: In terms of environmental impact, each time we turn away a person from our green, efficient cities, we're effectively cloning them and shipping them off to the suburbs of Texas to do twice as much harm.
- See more at: http://www.betterinstitutions.com/blog/2016/3/27/liberal-cities-housing-policy-hypocrisy#sthash.DO69Qnts.dpuf
The real problem here is that housing is never just a question of "build" or "don't build." It's "build here" or "build somewhere else."And if you live in a coastal U.S. city, somewhere else is usually way worse for the environment. People don't disappear just because they can't move to our cities; they move to the suburbs of Texas, where housing continues to be produced in abundance and, as a result, costs have stayed reasonably low.
Opposing development on behalf of the environment is essentially "greenwashing," and we need to acknowledge it for the lie that it is. It's an environmental crime, not a triumph. We don't celebrate the environment by moving into its midst and paving it over.
In many metro areas, household emissions in the suburbs are roughly double those of city households. Another way of putting that: In terms of environmental impact, each time we turn away a person from our green, efficient cities, we're effectively cloning them and shipping them off to the suburbs of Texas to do twice as much harm.
- See more at: http://www.betterinstitutions.com/blog/2016/3/27/liberal-cities-housing-policy-hypocrisy#sthash.DO69Qnts.dpuf
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