Why is Rent so Damn High?

Salim Furth joins us for a discussion on why rent in urban areas is skyrocketing and what can be done to fix it.

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If you’ve ever lived in a city like NYC or San Francisco you’re all too familiar with the incredible cost of housing. A studio apartment might cost as much to rent as a single family home out in the suburbs or a smaller town. While some of that additional cost is just the price we pay for living in desirable locations with abundant job opportunities, a surprising amount of that cost is entirely unnecessary. Bad regulatory policies are the cornerstone of the crisis of affordable housing in America today. Zoning boards keep housing density low, meaning shortages of housing supply in the face of rising demand, a classic recipe for skyrocketing prices. Salim Furth from the Mercatus Center joins Paul Matzko to discuss the causes, consequences, and possible fixes for the housing affordability crisis.

What can we fix so that housing prices become lower? What does it take to build a home in the U.S.? What power does the local government have in the housing market? How are zoning regulations affecting cities? What is the YIMBY movement? What is a thick labor market and how does it support housing? How should you engage with local politics?

Further Reading:

The Two-Board Knot: Zoning, Schools, and Inequality, written by Salim Furth

The Link Between Local Zoning Policy and Housing Affordability in America’s Cities, written by Kevin Erdmann, Salim Furth, and Emily Hamilton

Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities, written by Alain Bertaud

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