Important enough to make the main page, from Curbed:
The state of Oregon has effectively banned single-family zoning. Minneapolis upzoned nearly the entire city, 75 percent of which was zoned for single-family houses. California’s Senate Bill 50, up for a vote in 2020, would eliminate zoning restrictions around transit lines and job centers.
As affordable housing crisis has taken hold, state and local governments across the country have targeted low-density zoning laws for reform in hopes of spurring more housing developments in cities that are starved for more supply.
And with housing affordability becoming an issue on the 2020 campaign trail for the first time in recent memory, the Yes In My Back Yard (YIMBY) movement is going federal, as Democratic candidates for president Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker have both released housing plans that attempt coerce local governments into zoning reform by offering or withholding money from federal housing and transportation funds.
But given zoning laws are administered at the city or county level, how effective would wielding the power of the purse be at inducing change in local zoning laws?
Warren and Booker’s plans take diverging approaches. Warren proposes a new $10 billion competitive grant program that communities could use on infrastructure, roads, parks, or schools. But local governments have to reform their land use laws to be eligible for the grants.
Conversely, Booker’s plan would withhold $16 billion in existing federal funding from a handful of housing and transportation funds if local governments don’t reform their zoning laws. Warren’s plan uses the proverbial carrot, while Booker uses the proverbial stick.