Since we're having that debate again, I'll just lay out a quick thread on why, as a leftist, I believe we need to end exclusionary zoning & build a bunch more housing, both public & private.

The short version is that all of the other options are worse.
When exclusionary zoning reins, demolitions & flips still occur. They just turn a $300k single-unit house into a $700k single-unit house. It's gentrification in its purest form, 1-to-1 replacement of working people for rich people.

You could ban demolitions, but...
If you ban demolitions but don't control rents, it creates a worst-case-scenario where landlords and property owners can pit prospective renters & occupants against each other and jack prices through the roof.

You could ban demolitions & control rents, but...
If you complete freeze the housing market in amber, you effectively erect walls around the city and declare that absolutely nobody new can move there.

My leftism believes people should be able to live where they want. It's the same reason I think artificial borders are dumb.
You could, theoretically, freeze the private housing market in amber & make all the new housing built owned by the public. I'd be super into that world.

I don't think a clear-eyed reading of our current political age suggests that world is happening in the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, we're at square one where exclusionary zoning is leading to hyper-gentrification where working class & even middle class families are priced out.

Middle housing has proven affordable for the working & middle classes. So we need it ASAP.
In my perfect world, there is no private land ownership and everybody lives in public housing.

In today's world, I want more people to be able to live where they want. This means replacing the most expensive form of housing (1-units) with less expensive forms (middle housing).
Middle housing & small apartments do not comprise an affordability panacea. They'll never be affordable to truly low-income people without subsidy.

We absolutely need more public & permanent affordable housing. No honest housing advocate can rest until we have enough.
In the context of finite public funds, we should spend as much housing money on permanent, deeply affordable housing as possible.

Building public housing for middle class people is ridiculous until we're sure we'll have enough for low-income people.
If we're smartly targeting available public $$$ on building & subsidizing housing for low-income families, working class and middle class people will still need places to live. It won't be in the new luxury 1-unit housing that's being built.

It *can* be in new middle housing.
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