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Episode 467 of 526

Jenny Schuetz: Who's To Blame for High Housing Costs?

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station description Interviews, commentary and discussion at the heart of the Strong Towns movement.
The Strong Towns Podcast
Duration: 48:25
The affordable housing crisis is affecting not just people in coastal cities like Boston, New York, San Francisco, L.A., Seattle, and Portland. The crisis is spreading geographically and rippling throughout the economy. In the midst of such a crisis, it’s natural to want to assign blame; it’s also n
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The affordable housing crisis is affecting not just people in coastal cities like Boston, New York, San Francisco, L.A., Seattle, and Portland. The crisis is spreading geographically and rippling throughout the economy. In the midst of such a crisis, it’s natural to want to assign blame; it’s also natural to look for a silver bullet solution. But is that even possible with a phenomenon as massive (and massively complex) as the housing crisis? Is development a rigged game, open only to the largest and best-connected firms?

To help us get some answers we talked to Jenny Schuetz, a fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at The Brookings Institution. Schuetz is an expert in urban economics and housing policy, with a focus on housing affordability. 

In this episode of the Strong Towns podcast, Strong Towns president Chuck Marohn talks with Schuetz about her recent article on the factors driving up housing costs. She and Chuck discuss the role of uncertainty—both “time uncertainty” and “success uncertainty”— in the soaring cost of homes, why only the biggest developers can afford to build in some major metros, and why local housing discussions often pit the homeowner class against the renter class.

They also discuss what city officials and local advocates can do to loosen the housing market in their places—including allowing the next increment of growth by right, similar to the recent change in Minneapolis.

This is a masterclass on the housing crisis from one of the nation’s foremost experts.

 

Additional Show Notes:


Read Jenny Schuetz’s article: “Who’s to blame for high housing costs? It’s more complicated than you think.”




Follow her on Twitter: @jenny_schuetz




Jenny Schuetz at The Brookings Institution




Subscribe to the Brookings Metro Newsletter




Recent Housing Articles from Strong Towns


“Why Are Developers Only Building Luxury Housing?”




The 5 Immutable Laws of Affordable Housing




8 Things Your Town Can Do to Add More Housing (Without Spending a Dime)




Can We Afford to Care About Design in a Housing Crisis?




We Used to Just Call These Houses
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