Larry Kudlow to NEC Chair...

Should-Read: Noah Smith: California Affordable Housing Is No Mystery: Just Build More: "Urban California should emulate Tokyo, which ensured the supply of dwellings stayed ahead of population growth. By Noah Smith...

...After years of dithering and hoping the problem would go away, California is finally taking steps to address its housing crisis.... Californians have only to gaze across the Pacific, to the city of Tokyo.... As of 2015, the average residential rent in Tokyo was about $2.53 a square foot at current exchange rates. That’s about half the level for San Francisco.... Why is Tokyo housing so affordable? It’s not because Japan’s population is shrinking. More people crowd into the capital city every year.... Tokyo rent is cheaper because it builds lots of housing... building more and building up....

The national government revised regulations to allow more density. Combined with Japan’s famously simple zoning regulations, this resulted in a nation full of dense yet pleasant cities that offer decent, affordable living space. A key part of the equation, of course, is Japan’s efficient, convenient networks of public transportation....

California... is on the right track. The idea of building dense housing around transit hubs—a very Japan-like development pattern—is an especially good one. Simplified zoning codes, curbs on repeated administrative challenges to housing projects and less severe height restrictions would also be great ideas. Government-subsidized housing—which Japan also provides for its low-income citizens—is an important part of the mix...

Comments