Housing policies are central to the inclusiveness of a city. They define how residents share the wealth created by a city and how they access its assets and amenities. Public policies that control the housing supply and public investments in amenities and services such as schools, transportation, and infrastructure can play roles as strong as private wealth in defining the demographic make-up of the city. Population growth and demographic changes play out through the housing market and, when the housing is constrained, these forces further amplify gentrification, economic segregation, and displacement.
Our work on housing focuses on the relationship between housing policy and opportunity, examining how housing policies shape the District of Columbia, and how they can be improved to create a more vibrant city.
The “Green New Deal for Housing Amendment Act of 2022” begins with a financially impossible proposition and makes it even costlier. The bill is premised on the idea that higher-income tenants can cross-subsidize the rents for lower-income tenants, all combined in a mixed-income project. However, the parameters of the bill—the recommended income and tenant mix—are not practically possible.
Residential properties in the District’s historic neighborhoods are generally more expensive than those outside these neighborhoods. But data show that these buildings have underperformed in value appreciation compared to the …