HUD wants to limit Exclusionary Zoning
Uncle Sam wants to boost affordable housing by limiting exclusionary zoning. Exclusionary zonings are part of the city rules that many experts say drive up housing prices by putting restrictions on multifamily housing such as apartments, townhomes, and others that might be considered “undesirable” land uses in some circles. In a recent Kiplinger article, they report that the Housing and Urban Development Department Grants fund some local infrastructure projects. HUD has proposed tying grants to relaxing zoning laws, an idea with broad support.
Opponents believe the White House is trying to undercut fair housing laws, though, because HUD is changing restrictive zoning by revision of a desegregation rule. But the idea, with fans on the left and right, is here to stay. It will gain traction as long as the shortage of affordable housing in many cities around the U.S. persists.
California’s property tax laws are making the state’s housing market tighter. Valuations are frozen if a property owner’s progeny inherit the land, which encourages keeping ownership in the family and renting out the property instead of listing it. These transactions make up 10% of home sales. By one estimate, 60% of those sales were converted to rental or other uses so far. The trend does not seem to be abating.
A vote overturning the carve-out could be held. The exception is a great deal for families of older property owners, but other homeowners resent the tax inequity. One study pegged the lost tax revenue at $1.5 billion. Those factors will likely give rise to an eventual political move to upend the proposition that put it in place. Expect a compromise, a lengthy period in which valuations gradually rise, perhaps.
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