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Thread: Thread for discussing matters of policy

  1. #1

    Thread for discussing matters of policy

    Here are the rules, Biff will enforce strictly:

    1) No ad hominem attacks, just post about policy and your opinions of the merits thereof.
    2) It's ok to be a radical leftist, conservative, moderate, etc. All opinions welcome. Sailor even.
    3) Try to stick to policy and not candidates or elected officials.

    Let's see how long this lasts!

  2. #2
    I'll start with Ilhan Omar's policy push today for Homes For All: https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/...w-deal/602374/

    $1T pricetag
    Lives within the Green New Deal umbrella
    12 million new homes in 10 years
    Rolls back policy around limiting public housing stock (Clinton era policy)
    Adds to Housing Trust Fund, an Obama era policy

  3. #3
    Something that I don't think can come down federally but more locally is the way things are zoned, the requirements to change that zoning, and how slow those changes are. For example just one problem in Atlanta is everything is zoned for single family use and it really impacts the ability to increase housing density within the city.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    I'll start with Ilhan Omar's policy push today for Homes For All: https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/...w-deal/602374/

    $1T pricetag
    Lives within the Green New Deal umbrella
    12 million new homes in 10 years
    Rolls back policy around limiting public housing stock (Clinton era policy)
    Adds to Housing Trust Fund, an Obama era policy
    This is beautiful and a necessary complement to Warren‘s supply side fixes in the private housing market. Wow.
    We're going to be good again.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis Gossett Jr View Post
    Something that I don't think can come down federally but more locally is the way things are zoned, the requirements to change that zoning, and how slow those changes are. For example just one problem in Atlanta is everything is zoned for single family use and it really impacts the ability to increase housing density within the city.
    Definitely a huge NIMBY problem in DC too with height restrictions massively limiting the housing density potential.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    I'll start with Ilhan Omar's policy push today for Homes For All: https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/...w-deal/602374/

    $1T pricetag
    Lives within the Green New Deal umbrella
    12 million new homes in 10 years
    Rolls back policy around limiting public housing stock (Clinton era policy)
    Adds to Housing Trust Fund, an Obama era policy
    I like this a lot. The obvious question about funding is probably TBD.

    I helped a couple older family friends who were down on their luck try to find subsidized/affordable housing back in the spring and it was a very intimidating process, I imagine even more so for people of need who aren't very computer literate. The problems I saw ranged from limited inventory, to long wait times to get housing vouchers, to horrible websites that don't inform people of vacancies, waits, etc. It's very much a "black box" system and needs way more transparency.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquid Karma View Post
    I like this a lot. The obvious question about funding is probably TBD.

    I helped a couple older family friends who were down on their luck try to find subsidized/affordable housing back in the spring and it was a very intimidating process, I imagine even more so for people of need who aren't very computer literate. The problems I saw ranged from limited inventory, to long wait times to get housing vouchers, to horrible websites that don't inform people of vacancies, waits, etc. It's very much a "black box" system and needs way more transparency.
    I think making a business case for this is straightforward even if the cost is high. The ROI for the state of affordable housing for its citizens is really good. Affordable housing is the only sector of the housing market that has nearly unlimited demand but limited supply. 100k houses a year become unusable due to poor management that leads to obsolescence or substandard conditions. HUD could absolutely turn things around with the proper funding, and get big returns. Within the private sector, investor portfolios in the affordable-housing sector tend to have stronger returns on investment, increased and stabilized cash flows, and provide investors with downside protection over higher-priced housing.

  8. #8
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    That reads like a copy and paste. Big returns means more risk.

  9. #9
    I would love to see vacant properties taxed to a crazy level if they are part of an invest portfolio or company. Same with rental caps within those same properties if they are part of a more than X number of units under control type situation. You know whats not good for an area, when housing prices depreciate to the point that large companies come in a buy up all the super cheap housing and sit on it until the prices skyrocket because of government investment within the area. Looking at you southwest Atlanta.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by BiffTannen View Post
    That reads like a copy and paste. Big returns means more risk.
    Spent my lunch break reading a bunch of housing policy stuff, so it was definitely a little talking-pointy. I know there are people on this board that work in this area who I'd love to hear from.

  11. #11
    ROI on public housing is high? I'd like to see that math.

    Pretty much by definition, the rents you get on "affordable" housing are not sufficient to provide a decent return on the cost to construct. That's why no one can build affordable housing without government subsidies. The government's certainly not going to be able to change that equation by building the housing itself.

    Therefore I am assuming you have to bring other public benefits in to build out this notional ROI, such as decreased taxpayer costs from reductions in homelessness and increased productivity from workers who have stable housing situations.

    Not saying that's wrong, but I'd like to see the math.

  12. #12
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    Stability in the workforce and education and reduction in crime is a very good ROI.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon923 View Post
    ROI on public housing is high? I'd like to see that math.

    Pretty much by definition, the rents you get on "affordable" housing are not sufficient to provide a decent return on the cost to construct. That's why no one can build affordable housing without government subsidies. The government's certainly not going to be able to change that equation by building the housing itself.

    Therefore I am assuming you have to bring other public benefits in to build out this notional ROI, such as decreased taxpayer costs from reductions in homelessness and increased productivity from workers who have stable housing situations.

    Not saying that's wrong, but I'd like to see the math.
    I should acknowledge the ROI is high for the proposal on paper and for reasons you’ve mentioned. But for the current system in place which is a mix of public and private money, there are things that inhibit returns.

    Without the math in front of me, part of the challenge is regulatory costs. More here about the inventory and opportunities for investment: http://www.urban.org/sites/default/f...et-class_1.pdf

  14. #14
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    The other math that needs to be done is if you can buy the land and build those units in the places they are most needed for the $80,000/unit that is budgeted. I can't see how you can in LA, NYC, CHI or other places. Obviously, it can be done in small towns and rural areas, but that's not where most of the homeless (and soon to be homeless) live.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by RJKarl View Post
    The other math that needs to be done is if you can buy the land and build those units in the places they are most needed for the $80,000/unit that is budgeted. I can't see how you can in LA, NYC, CHI or other places. Obviously, it can be done in small towns and rural areas, but that's not where most of the homeless (and soon to be homeless) live.
    You realize it wont cost 80k/ unit in places like NC right?

  16. #16
    Without being glib, eminent domain that shit!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon923 View Post
    ROI on public housing is high? I'd like to see that math.

    Pretty much by definition, the rents you get on "affordable" housing are not sufficient to provide a decent return on the cost to construct. That's why no one can build affordable housing without government subsidies. The government's certainly not going to be able to change that equation by building the housing itself.

    Therefore I am assuming you have to bring other public benefits in to build out this notional ROI, such as decreased taxpayer costs from reductions in homelessness and increased productivity from workers who have stable housing situations.

    Not saying that's wrong, but I'd like to see the math.
    I hear this, but define what you mean by "decent return." Taxpayers would be blown away if there ever were a study showing how much "the state" spends subsidizing luxury and market-rate development in most coastal cities. Our idea of what a reasonable return is on real estate is ridiculously high when we look at returns on other types of investments (not to mention trends in the prices of other types of commodities via the CPI).

    And like Ph points out, investment in housing is an investment in human capital.

    What seems lost is that the vast majority of public housing in this country is a success. The Housing Choice Voucher program definitely has its drawbacks (and the fact that it is typically managed by overburdened public housing authorities doesn't help matters), but public housing is one of the few federal level housing policies that doesn't suck. The classic case studies (e.g., Cabrini-Green, Pruitt-Igoe, etc.) and towers in the park-style monstrosities in NY aside, public housing works. It's all about investment, though, and decisions about what we - as voters and taxpayers - determine is worthy of investment.
    We're going to be good again.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Liquid Karma View Post
    You realize it wont cost 80k/ unit in places like NC right?
    The biggest fallacy that I think folks make is that they assume that housing markets all look the way that their home markets look. I see federal housing policy as enabling and/or constraining certain decisions that can be fit to local housing market context. It shouldn't really be more than this, as much as I love the idea of nationwide rent control and right to counsel.

    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    Without being glib, eminent domain that shit!
    That's probably the only way to ensure equitable distribution of public and subsidized housing in the expensive coastal cities, but that's because NIMBY municipal governance should be in the Axis of Evil.
    We're going to be good again.

  19. #19
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    RE: LK - I specifically posted this:

    "Obviously, it can be done in small towns and rural areas, but that's not where most of the homeless (and soon to be homeless) live."

  20. #20
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    The owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning is building luxury condos near Amalie Arena using opportunity zone funds.

    What’s the ROI on that?

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