housing policy

Homeowners Saying “Yes, In My Back Yard”: Evidence from Israel

By Tal Alster (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) | Renting or owning an apartment in the world’s most desired cities has become increasingly unaffordable, especially for low-income households and less-skilled workers. One of the main reasons is growing regulatory barriers to new construction. Many blame NIMBYism – opposition to new construction by existing homeowners who adopt a “Not in my back yard” position – as the driver of excessive regulation. Richard Florida calls them the ‘New Urban Luddites’, Edward Glaeser ‘The Entrenched’, and William Fischel ‘Homevoters’. The takeaway is similar: older and more affluent homeowners use their political power to prevent new housing from being built and profit from rising urban rents, and in the process economic growth and the mobility prospects of the poor are stifled. NIMBYism, historically considered a micro phenomenon associated mostly with suburbs, is now considered to have macro effects on entire urban regions. Read More

June 21, 2022 // 0 Comments

Housing Vouchers Can Reduce Children’s Exposure to Neighborhood Disadvantage and Be a Tool to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Neighborhood Attainment

By Andrew Fenelon (Penn State University), Natalie Slopen (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health), and Sandra J. Newman (Johns Hopkins University) | American cities are heavily segregated by race and income, reflecting a legacy of racism and a housing policy heavily tilted toward white suburban homeowners. Recent research suggests that the economic impact of growing up in a poor neighborhood is significant – children can experience reduced rates of economic mobility, which reduces adult earnings and employment. For very poor children, moving to a high-opportunity neighborhood early in life can significantly affect future economic outcomes. Read More

June 15, 2022 // 0 Comments