a really good play about housing27 Feb 2017
The scene: The Metro Nashville Commission to investigate forming a committee to plan to address the mysterious problem of expensive housing plaguing the growing city.
Expert: We’re gathered here today to address the problem of expensive housing that we just noticed again. Does anyone have any thoughts?
Expert #2: It’s really bad. Growth is bad.
Expert #3: Yeah, terrible, really bad – especially for poor people.
Voice from the back of the room: It’s because zoning/building regulations restrict supply, home purchase subsidies drive up demand, and property tax disincentivizes long-term ownership for low/middle-income families, driving up rent and effectively transferring wealth to the wealthy.
Expert: It’s a mystery, for sure.. it’s really bad – does anyone have any ideas?
Voice from the back of the room: uh, I just said it’s bec–
Expert #2: We need more affordable housing
Expert #3: Yes!! Affordable housing, that’s good – if people can afford housing, it’s cheaper.
Expert: Okay, but how?? strokes forehead
Voice from the back of the room: Hello? Is this thing on? encourage building and eliminate property ta–
Expert #2: This problem is really bad
Expert #3: Developers are evil.
Expert #2: YES! ugh, developers.
Expert #3: What if we made it illegal for housing to be unaffordable..
Voice from the back of the room: da fu–
Expert: hm, good point, good idea.. what if we made some regulations forcing developers to make housing affordable?
Expert #3: ooh, i like that, then the housing will be affordable, and we will punish developers
Voice from the back of the room: why not just let them build mo–
Expert #2: Perhaps a rule that developers have to sell housing slightly cheaper for the upper middle class for a miniscule amount of time before things go back to normal.
Expert: Perfect! Then we can say we’ve Done Something!
Expert #3: as long as they don’t build too much, though – otherwise the evil developers will profit
Expert #2: yes, definitely don’t want too much building
Expert: yes, growth is bad..
Sound of a head banging on wall in the back of the room
Expert: say .. can we claim this solves homelessness too?