Nick Julian, land use program manager at the National Association of Home Builders, writes about how traditional zoning has been used to quash construction of missing middle dwellings like duplexes and triplexes. Recent moves by Oregon and Minneapolis are not outright bans but rather opens land where previously anything other than building single-family homes was prohibited to developing more diverse and affordable housing products.
Traditional zoning has often been cited as a barrier to affordability. A fresh round of research continues to point to strict zoning ordinances as impeding supply and affordability in the United States. Innovative policy shifts that increase the flexibility in land use and the tools available to construct varied housing should be good news for builders, developers, renters and homebuyers.