Top ResourcesFor New YIMBYS
Richard Rothstein & Mark Lopez
Segregated By Design examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy.
This video explains how laws about what can be built where drive rising home prices. There is a shortage of smaller homes and homes near schools, jobs, and other services. Zoning laws contribute to the shortage because they make it illegal to build multiple homes (e.g., a duplex or apartments) on existing lots. It notes how federal action could help counter neighborhoods' tendency to oppose changing zoning laws.
This short, animated video provides a demonstration of the impact of the housing shortage. It compares housing to a game of musical chairs. A lack of housing means that some families will not be unable to obtain housing, and will increase costs overall. The solution is to create more housing.
Vox’s The Weeds
Katherine Einstein, Professor of Political Science at Boston University, discusses how community members who oppose housing gained so much power with podcast host Matt Yglesias. They also talk about efforts to fix this dynamic, challenges, and possible solutions. Neighborhood Defenders is the term that Einstein uses for opponents of housing, instead of NIMBYs.
Vox’s The Weeds
Matt Yglesias interviews Jenny Schuetz, a housing economist at Brookings Institute, about housing affordability. Dr. Schuetz identifies two distinct issues, requiring different solutions. The first issue is that low-income families across America don’t earn enough to afford housing. Dr. Schuetz advocates an entitlement that provides housing subsidies for these families. Separately, a small number of metro areas have not built sufficient housing. This has driven up the housing costs, making housing unaffordable even for many households. Housing subsidies will not help affordability in these markets. Dr Schuetz advises zoning changes, likely driven by state and Federal governments.
NPR Code Switch
"When we're talking about racial disparities and family wealth, when we're talking about health outcomes, when we're talking about schools closing, when we're talking about policing, we're really talking about where we live. And in America, we live apart, and none of that is accidental."
Racism has been a central part of housing policy in the United States for hundreds of years. Historical policies introduced racism into housing. Residential segregation, displacement and obstacles to homeownership maintain segregation and inequality to today. This timeline highlights key policy decisions, from 1865 to 2019, and their short- and long-term implications for Black Americans and other minorities.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The article talks about how inequality in neighborhoods affects kids, and a tool to measure that inequality: the Child Opportunity Index. The author compares two kids growing up in different neighborhoods of Cleveland to illustrate how different their life experiences will be because of where they live. The author hopes that communities will use the Child Opportunity Index to push for changes in policy, investment priorities and changes in infrastructure to reduce inequality.
Do new buildings help bring rents down for everyone, or do they just fill with out-of-towners? What actually happens to renters across a given city when new market-rate housing is built there? Well, you can find out the hard way by tracking who exactly moves into new housing, where they come from, and who moves into their old units, and so on down the “migration chain.” This article summarizes some research that did exactly this.
New York Times
Lawmakers across the country are taking another look at single-family zoning laws. Maps of various major cities demonstrate the need to address this issue on a large scale. The authors explain the views of those concerned about property values and neighborhood capacity, as well as those concerned about racial equity and climate change. Examples from several cities illustrate the issue.
Chris Glynn, an economist at Zillow, reviews the impact of rent affordability on homelessness. The share of income people spend on rent directly impacts homelessness. The article includes city-specific examples and interactive visuals to illustrate the diverse range of issues in various cities and the importance of solutions that are equally unique.