T. Wall on Inclusionary Zoning: Time for Repeal?

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T. Wall on Inclusionary Zoning: Time for Repeal?

Postby bada_bingus » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:28 am

The president of Smart Growth Madison makes a compelling case for the failure of IZ in Madison, both to accomplish its goals of providing affordable housing AND driving up rents. Great opinion piece; read it.
http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/art ... ticle=5932

He kindly doesn't venture into the job security this ordinance has unwittingly provided for the ordinance's author, also the director of the Tenant Resource Center. Certainly, TRC has the same numbers illustrating the tightening rental market that's resulted from IZ.

T. Wall also doesn't go into another profound impact of the ordinance, the effect it's had on diffusing other efforts to create affordable housing. With all of the focus of fixing IZ, we no longer empanel bodies such as the Starter Home Taskforce nor design CDA programs that encourage home ownership, commonly done before the advent of IZ. When asked about what they're doing to provide affordable housing, elected officials passively point to IZ. "We've addressed that issue," they say instead of confronting its failure.

While the mayoral contest has focused on halting business unfriendly mandates, would we be better served by a discussion of what will be done to ensure a supply of affordable housing, - owner occupied AND rental - in what should be a post-IZ era? Will we continue to swallow Dave's drivel that the ordinance is not perfect while ignoring the human cost of a failed attempt to provide affordable housing? Or, can we afford to await Ray's program, likely to be unveiled sometime after he loses the election (if his failure to cultivate other issues in a timely manner can be a guide for his campaign's lethargy on yet another issue served up for him)?

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Postby ShaneDog » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:47 am

I don't know if the argument that there are fewer new rental units being built is all that relevant. I don't have any good data at the moment but just anecdotally speaking rents seem to have fallen, especially downtown. Walking down the East Johnson corridor there are for rent signs up all over the place. I've lived in that neighborhood for 5 or 6 years and I've never seen as many for rent signs (in the middle of the rental season) as I have seen this year.

Perhaps the decrease in new units being built is in response to oversupply.

Look at all the highrises that have been going up. Eventually that has to slow down, and it sounds like it has.

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