Saturday, May 1, 2021

The War On Single Family Homes

There are cities and states run by National Socialists considering ending single family home zoning to get more housing on lots and to help with low income housing.  That would be a big mistake and it is not the way to build the 4 million homes needed to satisfy current demand.  Getting rid of single family zoning would raise the prices of single family homes in states like California that already has sky high prices.  There are better way to achieve the end result.

First, neighborhoods with poorly maintained homes that are 75 years or more old, considered urban blight, could be rezoned to multi family zoning.  This would allow for those homes to be torn down completely and replaced by apartments and condos.  And, if allowed to go up at least four stories many homes could be built on these combined lots.  The only problem with this concept is infrastructure.  The nearby streets and arteries that support these neighborhoods may not be sufficient to support higher density housing.  So before allowing this to happen, there really should be impact studies to determine what other improvements  may be needed before density is increased.  

Perhaps a smarter approach would be taking enclosed shopping malls built 50 - 75 years ago and repurposing them.  Anchor stores could be torn down and in their places could spring up apartments and condos designed for first time home buyers and all other age groups.  This could include housing for those 55 and older.  In the core of the mall could be grocery and drug stores, child care, urgent care and all other shopping to create walking cities.  These new structures, which could include even more attached buildings would come with underground parking in addition to the parking typically surrounding malls.  Generally, this concept would not require additional infrastructure, since malls were already built with high capacity use in mind.  This concept would be the most cost effective way to repurpose obsolete retail space to help solve the housing shortage.  There could also be old office buildings and other shopping centers that could be torn down and replaced by apartments and condos with shopping on the first few floors.  

A war on single family homes is not the way to solve the housing shortage.  This could be one area where Socialists and Republicans could work together to come up with creative ideas that actually result in more housing at various price points.  And, let's let capitalism solve the problem rather than big government that always seems to screw things up.  

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