Swaim Housing/Homelessness Q2
Regulation and taxation are rarely discussed. I’ve seen few clearer illustrations of that one-sided debate than in the recent gubernatorial race. Gavin Newsom talked about producing more “affordable” housing through government spending and lawsuits against cities failing to do their fair share; John Cox, a home builder, underscored the high regulatory costs of construction. I’d add that property taxes, driven by public employee unions, make housing even more expensive. We can all point to countless examples in California of nonprofits and government creating “affordable” housing that is more costly than nearby market-rate housing. Instead of commanding the creation of new housing, government must deregulate, allowing the market to produce alternative housing that meets the ability to pay of buyers/ renters at every income level. And government should focus on quality infrastructure, sustainable public finance, and low taxes.