Skip to content

Want Affordable Housing? Let Supply Meet Demand.

Removing regulatory barriers to development can help ensure that American cities have homes and apartments at reasonable prices, writes Evan Mintz, Arnold Ventures Director of Executive Communications, and Charles Blain, founder of the Urban Reform Institute, in a Houston Chronicle op-ed.

Housing prices have skyrocketed across the country, leaving local leaders searching for solutions. In a Houston Chronicle op-ed, Arnold Ventures’ Director of Executive Communications Evan Mintz offered this policy advice: Be more like Houston. 

In places like New York City or San Francisco, high housing demand and limits on supply aggressively drive up prices, drive out families, accelerate gentrification, and exacerbate homelessness. Houston has enabled building homes until supply meets demand. That’s our secret,” Mintz wrote with coauthor Charles Blain, founder of the Urban Reform Institute. 

This advice comes as the YIMBYTown conference, supported by Arnold Ventures, convened a bipartisan coalition of experts, advocates, and policymakers all focused on the challenge of ensuring that cities have homes and apartments affordable for families, workers, retirees, and public servants like police officers, teachers, and nurses. Often the most effective policy responses involve removing regulatory barriers to development rather than having to add something new to the lawbooks or fund a new public project. 

Luckily, unlike so many other policy challenges, many solutions don’t require spending taxpayer dollars,” Mintz and Blain say in the op-ed. “[Cities] can make a lot of progress simply by removing some unnecessary barriers that still stand in the way of building the homes and apartments people want to buy and rent.” 

Even a city like Houston, which doesn’t have zoning, still has regulations like parking minimums, setback requirements, and others that make development unnecessarily more expensive. 

Read the entire op-ed here.