New York received record-breaking rainfall in 2023, which led to flooding in coastal and urban areas. As the state grapples with recurring flooding issues, residents are reminded of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, where governments were challenged with the displacement of thousands of families and damage… Read More »Disaster Response to Hurricane Sandy Highlights Disparities in Home Buyouts
Increasingly, the people who make our communities run – our teachers, police officers, and facility workers – can no longer afford to live where they work. “Workforce housing” is an increasingly popular solution to this problem. What is it, and does it represent an equitable… Read More »Is Workforce Housing the Answer to America’s Affordable Housing Crisis?
In the face of climate change’s far-reaching impacts, the notion of land as an unyielding and permanent resource has been shattered and replaced by a landscape in flux. Rising sea levels, intensified flooding, and other climate-related events have cast a shadow over the stability of our land, compelling us to rethink our approaches and policies in response to these evolving challenges.
One such approach is managed retreat, a concept entailing the relocation of human settlements and infrastructure from vulnerable or high-risk areas due to environmental factors. Within managed retreat, various strategies are employed, including acquisition and buyouts, zoning and land-use regulations, land swaps, and community engagement.
Climate change poses a significant threat to numerous regions in the United States, rendering them increasingly uninhabitable due to rising sea levels, flooding, wildfires, and more. As a response to this challenge, managed retreat has emerged as a strategy to relocate affected households, neighborhoods, and even communities away from harm’s way. Although managed retreat can involve a number of processes, the use of buyouts––the voluntary purchasing of private properties using public funds (which is intended to spur the relocation of at-risk households to lower risk locations), is a critical (and in many places, virtually the only) tool in a policy maker’s toolbox.
While physically moving people out of harm’s way makes intuitive sense, the real world applications of managed retreat-related buyouts are highly complex, emotional, and fraught with weighty fiscal and equity implications. Here we explore some basic financial considerations of managed retreat, shedding light on the challenges faced by affected municipalities and fundamental flaws in the system as a whole.
In this article we explore the complex question of how to ensure that greenspace and other urban amenities will actually benefit the communities to which they are targeted. We will highlight the many benefits of urban greenspace, explore the lesser-known implications for both nearby house prices and the rents faced by tenants, and discuss ways to ensure that the attractive greenspaces are financed by those households who they benefit most while also making sure that vulnerable tenants also share in their many desirable social and environmental outcomes.
States can grant regulatory authority to local governments to amend zoning and tax laws to increase housing affordability and not put a hole in city budgets In this paper we explore three approaches to solving the growing housing affordable housing crisis. First, I summarize some… Read More »A Pathway to Opening the Urban Land Market to Affordable Housing
Fall is here once again. This change of seasons typically evokes thoughts of colorful leaves; nights by the fire, hot cocoa in hand; and the impending holiday season. This fall, however, larger, more distressing trends are overshadowing these fanciful notions in many people’s minds.
Inflation has us paying more – much more – for everything from the food we feed our families, to the gas we put in our cars, to the insurance policies we purchase to safeguard our assets. And when it comes to our homes (often cited as most Americans’ largest asset) more and more buyers find themselves priced out of a housing market that is increasingly dominated by corporate investors with all cash offers, looking to turn a dual profit as landlords and owners of physical assets that can be borrowed against with ease.
In the Netherlands, the government is trying to combat the housing crisis with more subsidies for first time house buyers. But this will only make prices go up even more. There is a better solution, which would make housing cheaper for everyone: a land value tax. But as long as homeowners are in the majority, no politician dares to burn its fingers on this idea.
The financial crisis of 2008-10 illustrated the immense danger of a malfunctioning housing market. According to The Economist, between 2000 and 2007, America’s household debt rose from 104% to 144% of household income, and house prices rose by 50% in real terms. San Francisco and other large metropolitan areas in the U.S. are experiencing rents that represent 40% of the average person’s earnings. Housing is too expensive, which is damaging to the economy and poisoning politics.
None of Henry George’s books has the word “tax” in the title. This may be because he did not want his ideas to be framed as being mainly about taxes. His central message was that land should be “common property” and that a land value… Read More »Exploring the Possibilities of Land Trusts