by Julie Tisdale
City & County Policy Analyst
“The great American single-family home problem” is an excellent piece today from the New York Times. It looks at the housing crisis in California, but it has lessons for all cities, including those in North Carolina. It alludes to the importance of Dillon Rule (which I wrote about in October’s Carolina Journal, see page 14), property rights, and a light regulatory touch. It concludes,
This is a state of great ambition. It wants to lead the country on actions to reduce carbon emissions and has enacted legislation mandating a $15 minimum wage by 2022. But housing is undermining all of it.
Even with a growing economy and its efforts to raise wages, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation, with 1 in 5 residents living in poverty, once housing costs are taken into account. And plans to reduce carbon emissions are being undermined by high home prices that are pushing people farther and farther from work.
In a brief speech before signing the recent package of housing bills, Brown talked about how yesterday’s best intentions become today’s problems. California cities have some of the nation’s strictest building regulations, and measures to do things like encourage energy efficiency and enhance neighborhood aesthetics eventually become regulatory overreach.
“City and state people did all this good stuff,” Brown said to a crowd of legislators. “But, as I always say, too many goods create a bad.”