Publications

- June 1, 2016: Vol. 28, Number 6

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A ruling on affordable housing: Investors, developers and property owners lose another property rights fight

by Chuck Reed

Search online for “affordable housing crisis in America” and you will get more than 30,000 results. According to the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.–based think tank, “Not a single county in the United States has enough affordable housing for all its extremely low-income renters.”

Massive government funding would be necessary to alleviate the affordable housing crisis, and few people think that is likely to happen. With so much need and so little money available, we should expect local governments to find the money where they can. The most likely new funding source? Developers and property owners.

The U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for a new form of exaction from property owners and real estate developers by refusing to hear an appeal of a decision by the California Supreme Court that upheld San Jose’s inclusionary zoning ordinance. The ordinance requires developers of housing projects with more than 20 units to reserve 15 percent of the for-sale un

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