Ways To Make City Housing More Affordable

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May 19, 2016

Many of the most popular and biggest cities in the country are becoming so unaffordable that people are finding themselves priced out and needing to move somewhere less expensive. As MarketWatch reports, cities that not too long ago were watching as people and their wealth were leaving at an alarming rate now fear that they may become too exclusive. The biggest problem in all of these cities is the lack of affordable housing.

One possibility for solving the issue of affordable housing is to not rely solely on direct intervention as a means of finding a solution. While things like vouchers, rent control, and requirements for builders to supply affordable housing units helps, they often forget about a large swath of the population not considered to be the neediest, otherwise commonly referred to as the "missing middle."

Increasing supply is the best way to temper rising costs. As populations in many cities continue to grow, new home construction is not managing to keep up. Increasing the amount of construction is the first best way to promote affordability.

Additionally, the housing market is often times seen as a tale of two choices; builders can either build single-family homes or high-rise developments. Townhouses, duplexes, and courtyard apartments are often overlooked, which is a problem because all of these options can provide more affordable housing options while avoiding some of the costs associated with building higher.

Other possible solutions involve looking beyond the coasts, at cities like Houston or Phoenix. These places have a housing stock accessible to a wide variety of people and incomes. Focusing on new technologies will also help lower the costs associated with building.

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