Mendoza's viewpoint: Development restrictions won’t produce affordable housing
Our city’s leaders are correctly focused on maintaining housing affordability, and it is incumbent on all our leaders to work with them.
In the past few years, the city has convened a task force and developed policy options to preserve affordability. These actions have been important ones that top-tier cities preparing for growth should consider. While the funding mechanism — the realty transfer tax — is not the best option, its existence is a good thing for our city’s strategy.
Increased supply of housing is critical to maintaining affordability, but in Pittsburgh and other cities, a NIMBY (not in my backyard) approach to development is gaining momentum. The goal of these folks is to fight displacement by blocking development. However, basic economics tells us that you can’t lower or maintain low prices with supply restrictions that impede response to market demand. Pittsburgh City Council should incorporate this knowledge into its proposed inclusionary zoning pilot policy in Lawrenceville.
Written by Brandon Mendoza and published by the Pittsburgh Business Times.