Growth Management and Affordable Housing

Do They Conflict?

Advocates of growth management and smart growth often propose policies that raise housing prices, thereby making housing less affordable to many households trying to buy or rent homes. Such policies include urban growth boundaries, zoning restrictions on multi-family housing, utility district lines, building permit caps, and even construction moratoria. Does this mean there is an inherent conflict between growth management and smart growth on the one hand, and creating more affordable housing on the other? Or can growth management and smart growth promote policies that help increase the supply of affordable housing?

These issues are critical to the future of affordable housing because so many local communities are adopting various forms of growth management or smart growth in response to growth-related problems. Those problems include rising traffic congestion, the absorption of open space by new subdivisions, and higher taxes to pay for new infrastructures.

This book explores the relationship between growth management and smart growth and affordable housing in depth. It draws from material presented at a symposium on these subjects held at the Brookings Institution in May 2003, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Association of Realtors, and the Fannie Mae Foundation. Contributors seek to inform the debate and provide some useful answers to help the nation accommodate the curtailment of growth in urban and suburban domains while still ensuring a supply of affordable housing.

Contributors include Karen Destorel Brown (Brookings), Robert Burchell, (Rutgers University), Daniel Carlson (University of Washington), David L. Crawford (Econsult Corporation), Anthony Downs (Brookings), Ingrid Gould Ellen (New York University), William Fischel (Dartmouth College), George C. Galster (Wayne State University), Jill Khadduri (Abt Associates), Gerrit J. Knaap (University of Maryland), Robert Lang (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Shishir Mathur (University of Washington), Arthur C. Nelson (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Rolf Pendall (Cornell University), Douglas R. Porter, (Growth Management Institute), Michael Pyatok (University of Washington), Michael Schill (New York University School of Law), Samuel R. Staley (Reason Public Policy Institute), Richard P. Voith (Econsult Corporation).