tv Experts Testify on Impact of Exclusionary Zoning CSPAN November 1, 2021 5:57pm-7:43pm EDT
and community development. the house financial services subcommittee on housing, community development and insurance held this hearing. it's an hour and 45 minutes. >> and i will open up with four minutes, a four-minute introduction, and then we'll recognize the ranking member for five minutes. i am very much interested in this topic. i started down my political career as a member of the kansas city council and i served my second term on city council as the chair of the planning and zoning committee and of course that's where i learned about human beings when you start dealing with zoning. and right now we still have what
we had back in the 1980s when i chaired the planning and zoning committee in kansas city, everybody wanted everything that could be brought into the city, just not near their own homes, and that creates all kinds of problems, including problems of affordability. and right now, the price of housing is a national crisis and many observers and experts believe this is worse than it has been at any point in our history. if you look at the data from the census bureau and the housing and urban development in august of this year, the median sales price of new residential homes in the united states was about $390,000. $390,000. now, that is an all time national high. the price of housing has been
pushed upward, and put upward pressure on rent, and you know, the dream of home ownership has, of course, moved further and further away from the majority of the people who are now not homeowners. and so across the country, you know, we're having problems. and if you look at our first responders, they can no longer -- because far too many teachers and firefighters and cannot afford to pay the real estate for their living. only one of the country's largest metro areas, pittsburgh, requires less than 30% of
starting teacher's salary for housing. from an economic lens, the affordable housing crisis is a supply and demand problem. the supply of housing and particularly affordable housing has not kept pace with the land. that's from the united states census bureau and that also demonstrates the most recent decade extending from january 2010 to november of 2019, saw fewer houses started than any decade since the 1960s by a wide margin, and while the housing market is desperate, and desperately in need of more new homes, the development of new homes in the lower end of the market for low income and first time home buyers has become
particularly grim. and so, you know, we will get into this a lot more as we move along, but i'd like to now recognize the ranking member for five minutes, and mr. hill. >> well, thank you, chairman cleaver. thanks for convening this hearing. i appreciate the leadership of the chairwoman, and ranking member mchenry as well. four local zoning practices, especially in our largest cities in the country are among the many government regulations that make it more expensive to find a place to live in the united states. in this committee we have heard how housing affordability is ultimate about housing supply. there's simply more people who
want to buy a home or rent an apartment than there are homes available. the same applies to the rental market. artificial barriers and certain local zoning policies can make it even more difficult and expensive to build new houses or apartments. impeding the kind of market driven behavior between buy ers and sellers that could help bring the cost of housing down: imposing new government mandates like inclusionary zoning and rent control or increasing federal housing assistance to subsidize down payments doesn't do anything to address the underlying supply/demand imbalance. they just, instead, shift the costs of building new housing units to residents through higher rent, taxes, and federal subsidies. instead, i believe we should be looking at ways to incentivize localities with high housing demand to produce more units that make it easier and less expensive to build housing
across the development process, from permitting to planning, to construction. if home ownership is about partisan goals, we ought to be looking at how housing regulations are making home ownership more unattainable for thousands of americans in both rural and urban areas. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today, the ways the federal government can help ease some of these local regulatory and zoning barriers. what are the costs of building housing units, and address some of the root causes related to housing supply. i thank my friend from kansas city for his leadership, and i'm proud here in central arkansas to represent a margin where the median home price here is $156,800, worth about $100 a square foot. our property taxes are 0.68%. we invite all of america to central arkansas where housing is affordable both for rental purposes and purchasing
purposes. you have to approach this, and you know this as the mayor, leader, about how it really is essential to give access, and i thought your discussion about different zoning characteristics of a multifamily, small scale versus single family home is of course constructed but it's a complicated issue, and i look forward to the testimony today. i yield back. >> thanks for your information, mr. ranking member. we will now recognize the chair of the full committee, maxine waters from california. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing. this is very important. in america today, our zip code pre-ordains our access to jobs, home ownership, affordable rents, and access to quality education. it began with inflating and later segregating my ancestors. our indigenous brothers and
sisters from their land, red lining people of color out of home ownership, and it continues today with restrictive and exclusionary zoning policies. communities across this country continue to use zoning and local control as a dog whistle to preserve racial residential segregation that contributes to the under supply of housing. we must ensure every family in america has access to the communities of their choice. i look forward to our expert witnesses for their testimony today. again, i thank you for holding this hearing, and i yield back the balance of my time. i yield back. >> thank you, madame chair, for your comments today. we now welcome the testimony of our distinguished witnesses. first we have sheryll cashin,
carmack water house professor of law, civil rights from georgetown university. next we have richard kahlenberg, the senior fellow for the century foundation. next we have dora leong gallo, president and ceo of community of friends, and then we have thomas silver stein, associate director of fair housing and community development projects, lawyers committee for civil rights under the law. and finally we have dr. emily hamilton senior research fellow and coordinator of the urbana project at the george mason university. witnesses are reminded that their oral testimony will be limited to five minutes. you should be able to see a timer on your screen that will indicate how much time you have left, and a chime will go off at the end of your time.
i would like to ask that you be mindful of the timer and quickly wrap up your testimony if you hear the chime so that we can be respectful of both witnesses and the committee's time. so we will now hear from ms. sheryll cashin. you have five minutes. >> thank you very much, i want to begin by associating myself with the comments of the chairwoman, and my comments are in that spirit. i've spent nearly three decades grappling with u.s. segregation, and how it produces racial inequality. my most recent book, "white save black hood," segregation and the age of inequality reflects this decades of examinations. it argues that we have a system of residential caste in which government overinvests and
excludes in affluent white spaces and disinvests and contains, and frankly preys on people in high poverty black neighborhoods. these are the extremes of american residential caste but everyone who can not afford to buy their way into high opportunity neighborhoods are harmed by the system. the poor especially are systematically excluded for opportunities for social mobility, no matter how hard they work to escape. exclusionary zoning was first sanctioned by the u.s. supreme court in 1986 in which it endorsed the idea that even duplexes were parasitic, i quote, on single family homes and the people who live there. in ensuing decades, thousands of new suburban governments formed, enabling middle class and upper class whites to wield the zoning power to exclude certain types of housing, particularly rental apartments and therefore exclude unwelcome populations. fast forward to today, and where
high levels of black segregation persist, researchers have found it was actively promoted by zoning laws that restricted density, and by high levels of anti-black prejudice. according to a stunning geographically mapped analysis reenlts produced by "the new york times," it is illegal on 75% of the residential land in many american cities to build anything other than a detached single family home. that figure is even higher in many suburbs and newer suburban belt cities. a recent study released by an institute at uc berkeley found it was getting worse. about 81% of large and medium metro areas were more segregated in 2019 than they were in 1990. the most persistent type of
neighborhoods today are affluent white spaces and concentrated poverty neighborhoods, and the boundaries of these neighborhoods is hardening. that means it's harder to get into places of high opportunity, and frankly, it is harder to get out of the hood. the past and present of federally backed segregation policies informs the legal and moral caste for congressional action to disrupt exclusionary zoning. i cover that history quickly in my written testimony. suffice it to say, intentional segregation of black people in the 20th century shapes living patterns for everyone. the infrastructure for maintaining segregation lives on. racial steering by realtors, discrimination in mortgages lending, exclusionary zoning. government subsidized affordable housing that concentrates housing. local school boundaries that encourage segregation, plus, continued resistance to racial
integration by many americans. so in considering policy options, please first acknowledge that the main reason exclusionary zoning persists is the vested interest and expectations of people who live in poverty-free havens. in so called blue california where democrats are in charge, despite a grave housing and homelessness crisis, the state was only able to take the baby steps of opening single family neighborhoods to duplexes. if congress wants to disrupt a near century of exclusionary zoning, serious pressure and accountability are required. i recommend not just spending incentives to repeal exclusionary zoning, but pressure on localities to adopt well designed, inclusionary zoning ordinances, the best example of which is the highly successful mandatory ordinance
of montgomery county, maryland. this extremely diverse, wealthy suburban county has no pockets of concentrated poverty and poor children have more access to federal housing, community development, and infrastructure funds to be conditioned on localities, adopting inclusionary zoning ordinances that absolutely affirmatively further their housing. thank you. >> thank you very much, ms. cashin, for your testimony. we now recognize mr. kahlenberg from the senior fellow at the century foundation. >> good afternoon, chairman cleaver, chairwoman waters, ranking member hill and all of the members of the subcommittee. thank you for holding this important hearing on exclusionary zoning. i'm richard kahlenberg, senior fellow at the century foundation where i conduct research on housing and education policies.
it's my testimony that local zoning policies that prohibit multifamily dwellings are driving up housing prices, fueling racial and economic segregation, and limiting the opportunities for millions of children and families to achieve the american dream. there is much that congress can do to fix this, including adopting a new economic fair housing act, which i will discuss in a moment. i call local exclusionary policies the walls we don't see because they are less physical to the public than other forms of discrimination. most americans today understand that it was wrong for white mobs to scream at young black children trying to attend desegregated schools in the south in the 1960s. many of us know the norman rockwell painting of ruby bridges, a small black child who had to be escorted by large fbi agents in new orleans because
white people objected to her presence based on the color of her skin. but in 2021, local governments continue to erect less visible walls that keep low income and working class families, many of them families of color, from living in safe neighborhoods with good schools. as professor cashin noted, in most american cities, zoning laws prohibit the construction of relatively affordable homes, duplexes, triplexes, quads and multifamily units on 3/4 of residential lands. there are millions of modern day ruby bridges whose lives are hurt by exclusionary zoning. i interviewed, for example, tiara cornelius, a low wage single mother, who a few years ago was living in south columbus, ohio, and was looking for better schools, safer neighborhood for her kids. she told me she did not allow her children to walk to the grandmother's house just a couple of blocks away because it was dangerous to do so.
she drove them instead. now, one might look at cornelius's predicament and say her exclusion of better opportunity is certainly a reflection of the workings of the free market and housing. but in columbus, suburbs bans on construction of duplexes, triplexes and apartment buildings keep people like cornelius zoned out by government fiats. so what can be done. in written testimony, i discovered a number of possible reforms, including the committee's unlocking possibilities program, which would represent one of the most significant federal efforts to curtail exclusionary zoning in decades, and deserve strong support. but federal carrots should be supplemented by federal sticks, to add to the effort, and by the way, a much more modest cost than insen tifr programs. in particular, congress should create a private right of action, comparable to the one found in
the 1968 fair housing act, to allow victims of economically discriminatory government zoning policies to sue in federal court just as victims of racial discrimination currently can't. i call this proposal an economic fair housing acts. the original 1968 fair housing act was a monumental advance and for human freedom and helped produce a 30% decline in black/white residential segregation since 1970. at the same time, income segregation has more than doubled in this period. part of the problem is highly segregated elites will denounce racism and sexism, but negative attitude against the less educated. for important historical reasons, being a class snob is not held in the same disrepute as being a racist, but in the context of -- black
families and working class families of all races, are held in such low regard that the state is somehow justified in sponsoring laws that make it illegal for anyone to build the types of housing these families can afford. economic fair housing act would make clear that economic discrimination is wrong whether or not it has a disparate impact on people of color but the act would also reduce racial se regas station by helping low income plaintiffs of color, who face stiff burdens under disparate income laws to prevail in court. once again, thank you for the opportunity to discuss ways to reduce barriers that artificially separate americans and hurt our country. thank you. >> thank you very much. and now we will hear from dora leong gallo, president and ceo of community of friends. ms. gallo. >> good afternoon, mr. chair.
members of the subcommittee and chairwoman, thank you for this opportunity to testify today. my name is dora leong gallo, and i am the president and ceo of -- a nonprofit affordable housing development corporation based out of california with a very specific mission of ending homelessness for people, individuals and families affected by mental illness. in the past 33 years, we have completed 51 apartment buildings throughout los angeles and orange county, include two buildings in san diego county. currently we operate 43 buildings housing over 2,500 individual, including over 600 children. as a nonprofit organization serving people with disabilities i have experienced first how government regulation and control through a process called zoning can be used to both stimulate or slow down the development in communities and/or used to exclude certain populations living in certain communities.
and though local governments authorities who regulate land use is granted by state government, the development of affordable housing has inherently been a local process. for decades, zoning was controlled at the neighborhood level, but this trend has been changing, given the crisis, in communities face with the lack of affordable housing. in the context of building supportive housing to end homelessness. community friends have often encountered opposition from community members using zoning and discretionary approvals to block housing for people experiencing homelessness who are disproportionately people of color. for instance, in los angeles, 40% of people who are homeless are black, yet black people make up only 9% of l.a. population. discrimination against people with mental illness are couched in land use terms, the housing project is too dense, it's out of character with the neighborhood. it has insufficient parking and
generates traffic. it bows to the pressure to preserve the status quo, leading to continue discriminatory practices and continue racial inequities in housing. further challenges in supportive housing projects. california has the environmental quality, intended to analyze and mitigate the environmental harms of public projects. it has been recognized over the past decade to delay or stop afford shlable and supportive housing projects that require government approval. twice in 2018 community of friends faced legal challenges for two supportive housing projects for veterans we proposed. even when on one projects, only 49 units were proposed in a site zoned for over a hundred units. we prevailed in both lawsuits but the result was an almost four-year delay on each project, a significant increase in costs, and funding commitments was reobligated and construction
costs increased and dozens of homeless individuals and families, including veterans, were not able to ask for affordable housing with on site supportive services, that the two projects could have provided. the federal government has -- in zoning reform. research and regulatory barriers and advance solutions to overcome them. hud's regulatory barriers, and valuable resource for identification of various solutions to housing production and preservation. hud should also continue, implementation of furthering their housing regulation, and develop programs to ensure compliance with the provision of the fair housing act of 1968. congress also has a role to play. the build back better plan before congress includes the unl possibility as previously mentioned. this program will incentivize local governments to improve housing strategies, reform so
many practices, and steam line regulations. it will be particularly useful to small communities in capacity to conduct housing needs assessments, and to develop concrete steps necessary to eliminate barriers to produce affordable housing and advance their housing. additionally, congress should propose legislation or regulations that link funding to further housing rules. consider federal legislation to prohibit state and local governments from putting road blocks on the way of increasing affordable housing and foster inclusive communities, and make rental assistance universally available to households in need, and prohibit income discrimination. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, ms. gallo. thank you very much. now we will have thomas silverstein, the associate director of fair housing and community development, lawyers committee for civil rights under the law. >> thank you. chairwoman waters, chairman cleaver, ranking member hill and members of the subcommittee,
thank you for the opportunity to testify today regarding the harmful impact of exclusionary zoning. as well as strategies for mitigating those. my name is thomas silver stein, and i'm the associate director for hair housing community projects. a civil rights organization created at the request of president john f. kenly in 1963 to confront issues of racial zoning. exclusionary zoning plays a role in thor -- garnered the lion's share of the attention, the nationwide problem and some of the country's most extreme zoning restrictions are found in the midwest and deep south. when we talk about exclusionary zoning, it's important that we be precise in our language. although the roots of modern zoning are unquestionably in early 20th century attempts to
segregate the community, not all zoning restrictions are exclusionary in practice, indeed, some provisions that prevent heavy polluting industrial facilities, near homes, for others, including residential restrictions. the context matters. notwithstanding similar restrictions in areas racially and ethically diverse, those same restrictions are not perpetuating exclusion in practice. this distinction has ramifications about the policy debate at the federal, state, and local level. working in collaboration with a broad coalition of civil rights, and community organizing brought together by the alliance for housing justice we developed a set of eight principles to guide federal action around exclusionary zoning. we recommend the federal action
focus on areas that are actually exclusionary. two, require an equity analysis, to increase impacts and avoid unintended consequences. three, prioritize the development of restrictive affordable housing including units for low income households, four, evaluate municipalities, zoning and land use, six, historically disinvested communities of color have equitable access to federal funds, seven, identify funding sources that will will actually incentivize, change and aid, obligate, maintain data, and report proper. -- progress. most recently proposals for federal actions around exclusionary zoning have involved carrots rather than sticks, and such proposals, these principles are particularly important. with that said, a more forceful approach may be warranted, due to the fact that the municipalities with the most exclusionary zoning are among those least likely to currently receive or heavily rely on federal funds, because zoning
regulation and indeed residential construction activities are formed with economic activities that clearly have a significant effect on interstate congress, congress's power to act is likely clear. additionally, the federal government has a strong interest in stopping exclusionary zoning in undermining the efficiency and efficacy of the affordable -- investments in affordable housing development. while congress determines how to address exclusionary restrictive housing, they should urge to the department of housing and urban development to make better use of housing. and its power can already take action to reduce exclusionary zoning by filing initiated termination complaints and block grant fund over the civil rights, including those involving furthering your housing. doj has a special statutorily designed role in investigating and bringing enforcement act under the fair housing act to end exclusionary zoning.
the same barriers to establishing, although there have been several successful walk throughs, challenging, exclusionary zoning, why the cases have not been more frequent, and therefore the reason why the fair housing act has not had as much of a deterrent effect as it should. the lawyers for committees under the law, and alliance for housing justice stand ready to serve as resources to the subcommittee as it contemplates federal action to address the critical problem of exclusionary zoning. thank you for the opportunity to testify. and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. and now ms. hamilton, you are now recognized for five minutes to girl an oral presentation. >> thank you, chairwoman waters, chairman cleaver, ranking member hill, and members of the subcommittee, i'm emily hamilton, a senior research fellow at the mercada center at george mason university, where i'm codirector of the urbanity project: my
remarks will focus on three points. first as this committee's leadership and other witnesses have said, local zoning rules needlessly increase the cost of housing for millions of americans. second, a federal grant program targeted at the right localities can help alleviate these problems. and third, a federal grant program can only succeed if funds are disbursed on the basis of housing markets outcomes. to my first point on zoning and housing affordability, many local rules limit the amount of housing that can be built and increase the cost of housing that is permitted. these rules are typically codify in a municipality zoning code. they include apartment bans, requirements at each new house sit on a large lot, and minimum lot size, and minimum parking requirements. such rules increase the cost of building housing, particularly in places where land is expensive. under current zoning policies, half of american renters are rent burdened.
for many families, there is too little left for other necessities. once rent is paid. the percentage of renters who are rent burdened has increased over the past decade, reflecting the rising costs of exclusionary zoning. to my second point on the importance of targeting the right jurisdictions for reform, members of congress from both parties have introduced bills in the house and senate intended to reduce exclusionary zoning, reflecting a growing bipartisan consensus on the need for land use reform. several proposals to date would target reform among cdbg grantees. unfortunately they do not reach all of the localities that enforce zoning codes. in particular, many suburbs in high wage regions where reform is most urgently needed are not entitlement communities. in order to effectively incur zoning reforms, any program congress considers creating should include all of the localities that enforce zoning rules as eligible grantees.
and now my final point on the importance of rewarding jurisdictions based on housing market outcomes, a successful zoning reform program must reward localities for the right outcome, namely permitting abundant housing construction. a proposal recently considered by this committee would instead fund planning exercises to potential reform to exclusionary zoning. sadly, past experience shows that plans to improve housing affordability often sit on local government shelves without actually leading to any zoning changes or to new housing. other recent proposals in congress would instead reward localities for adopting specific policies, intended to improve housing affordability, such as increasing the amounts of land, where multifamily housing could be permitted or reducing parking requirements. though this approach is better, it still does not necessarily reward localities for actually
making more housing feasible to build, if, as often happens, localities make housing that appears legal to build on paper difficult to build in practice. instead of rewarding localities for promising to permit more housing eventually, or for adopting policies that may not result in more housing construction on the ground, congress could instead adopt a competitive grant program that ranks localities according to their housing market outcome. such a program would reward growth with the most exclusionary localities, receiving nothing. my colleague and i have developed one formula that could enable such a program by ranking high demand localities, primarily according to their rate of housing construction, and lower demand localities primarily according to the prices of their new construction. in conclusion, the particulars of a grant program, intended to encourage zoning reform would need to be debated. but a successful program must reward the correct metric, and the correct jurisdictions.
actual housing market outcomes in the localities that enforce zoning rules. thank you, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, ms. hamilton, and i would like to thank all of the witnesses. we'll begin the logical part of the hearing, and begin with questions from the distinguished chairwoman maxine waters. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i do have a question for professor cashin. your recent book "white face black hood focuses on black/white residential segregation, and when it comes to exclusionary zoning, should the focus be broader to include, for example, economic class and other racial and ethnic groups who are disproportionately locked out of housing opportunities? in many communities, the u.s.
census ratio distinction of "other" has been growing over the years in the residential sector. >> i think i got the essence of the chairwoman's question if you'd like me to address what i heard. >> let's wait just a second or two. she froze, and maybe -- i want to make sure she can hear your response, if possible. well, we can move on and come back. why don't you -- if you will -- all right.
>> they can see you, but they can't hear you. >> why can't they hear me? >> we can now. >> oh, thank you, thank you. professor cashin, i don't know if you heard my question. let me give it to you again. >> thank you. >> okay. your recent book "white space black hood" focuses on black/white residential segregation. when it comes to zoning, should the focus be broader to include for example, economic class and other racial and ethnic groups who are disproportionately locked out of housing opportunities? in many communities, the u.s. census, racial distinction of "other" has been growing over the years, and the residential segregation between white individuals, and those who racially identify as other has also been growing. what does this tell us about modern friends, and residential segregation, and how policy makers should be viewing this issue? >> so the short answer is, am i
on? >> yes. can you hear me? >> yes. >> the short answer, madame chairwoman, is yes, all groups can and should benefit from disrupting exclusionary zoning and putting serious pressure, particularly on high opportunity neighborhoods to adopt inclusionary zoning ordinances where they actually build their fair share of affordable housing. but you know, the title of my book and my analysis really underscores that the residential system of separate and unequal neighborhoods that we have was born of a anti-black prejudice, born of containing the 6 million more great migrants who left the south, and so it took seven decades to create this structure, happily sponsored and initiated by the federal government, the containment of
black people is why -- and the fear of black people is why we created and frankly why we have persistent residential segregation, and i think we just have to be honest in acknowledging that acknowledging that history, acknowledging what we're up against in trying to disrupt it. >> well, thank you very much. i had a conversation recently with a member of congress. i have a big housing bill inside the reconciliation bill, and in that i have designated a significant amount of money for vouchers, and he said, well, you should not have that much money for vouchers because there are not enough places for them to even acquire, and so you should reduce the amount. i said, no, we're going to build more affordable housing in the national housing trust fund, and
so what we're basically facing, i think, is where are they going to be able to build this additional housing? because of what we're talking about here today, and i think i targeted about $36 billion for the national housing trust fund in order to build more affordable units. but the question becomes, are we going to be stymied if our efforts to build more affordable housing because of this residential zoning discrimination. >> well, god bless you, i hope you prevail, madame. >> well, i'm listening to you very carefully, and you're absolutely right. the government created this discrimination, and we have the opportunity to undo it. and it's going to take courage, and it's going to take pressure on the locals, and all of the homeowner associations that organize around making sure that they are exercising, not in my
backyard, and so it's going to be a lot of work, and of course we're going to be accused of trying to disregard residential neighborhoods where people have invested and that all of these people coming in from outside, people that don't look like us, just cannot come to our neighborhoods, and so i tell you, when you're in these fights, then they turn the tables on you and us and they call us racist, and so it's going to be a lot of work. thank you for coming here today. thank you for all of your knowledge on the subject. i appreciate you very much. mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, madame chair. the chair now recognizes, the distinguished gentleman from little rock, arkansas, mr. hill. >> well, thank you, chairman, again, for the committee, and it's an excellent panel with lots of good perspective, and i'm grateful for everybody's participation.
ms. hamilton, i was very interested in your study, and your formula idea. and your research shows how local zoning and regulatory decisions can raise the cost of new housing that i address in my opening statement. and in the baltimore, washington, region, for example, your research shows that a price increase of 1% for a year in localities that have adopted inclusionary zoning policy. can you explain that, and give us some background. >> thank you, ranking member hill. i appreciate the question. i'm not optimistic about the potential for inclusionary zoning to solve the problems of exclusionary zoning. typically inclusionary zoning relies on density bonuses that localities provide to developments that include below market rate units. the problem with using inclusionary zoning as a solution to exclusionary zoning is that the tool that gives
these density bonuses their value is exclusionary zoning itself. without underlining exclusionary zoning, inclusionary zoning would be a clear tax on new housing construction, and taxing what we're trying to see in more abundance is not the right policy. they can never do the harm, undo the harm of exclusionary zoning. and as you said i've studied inclusionary zoning in the baltimore, washington, region montgomery county, maryland, is often rightly heralded as potentially the greatest success of inclusionary zoning, but even there, less than 4% of the housing stock is made up of inclusionary zoning units. so this policy has never been proven to be a tool that can provide anywhere near enough housing abundance for those households who need it. >> thank you, and i think that's a key point.
you also mentioned, i think, a good point, and congressman cleaver and i have talked about cdbg issues before. the committee is considering some things there. the entitlement cities that obviously get a direct cdbg allocation, but suburban cities and peripheral counties to an urban area, don't, they typically get cdbg pass throughs maybe through a state government, and i say maybe. can you talk about how your formula would adapt for that, for somebody who's not in entitlement stage. >> that's correct. i would argue that instead the correct universe of localities that should be eligible for a federal carrot to reform inclues narrow zoning should be all of the localities in the building permit survey conducted by the census bureau and hud. those are all of the localities that currently engage in land planning and issue building
permits whereas cdbg's exclude in particular high-wage suburbs of high-wage regions, and this problem is most acute in the northeast. >> yeah, that's something that came out of our cdbg hearing, we have the 1940s housing stock issue, that dates from the 1970s in the cdbg formula, which really doesn't reflect reality. i mean, at the time, we were looking at 1930, and 1940 data, because we wanted to offer four cities the ability to improve housing stock. i get that, but now we're 50 years later, and it seems to me a rule like that would be prejudice against a city like los angeles, for example, whose 1940 housing stock wouldn't reflect the one iota through its 2021 housing stock. so that's very interesting. one other question i have for you and your research. land banks, a lot of cities
are trying to revitalize urban areas. what cities do you think do a good job in getting positive practices to bring new developers, new users of land bank properties in urban areas. do you have a city in mind that has done a good job there? >> that's not my favorite approach. instead i'd highlight localities that have engaged with exclusionary zoning across broader areas of land, for example, seattle's urban villages approach to up zoning or minimum lot sizes in houston. thank you. >> good, thank you so much. this was very interesting, and i appreciate all of our panelists and mr. cleaver, i yield back. and again, i have to put in my word for no more online hearings. we were disrupted listening to our leader and the gary gensler hearing was a disaster, and the mark up was challenging, so i want to urge my colleagues to support going back to in-person hearings.
thank you so much, and i yield back. >> thank you, ranking member hill. the chair recognizes the esteemed representative from new york. >> thank you mr. chairman, and thank you for holding this important hearing on exclusionary zoning. my first question i would like to address is to mr. silverstein. residents and homeowners in the state of new york that i represent have been working with community-based organizations to form a community land trust. first, can you explain how community land trust enabled local residents to take ownership of buildings and homes in order to keep their neighborhood affordable, and second, can you
please explain the importance of having community land trust in place prior to any up zoning to mitigate the risk of speculation, and gentrification. >> thank you, congresswoman. so community land trusts are a critical tool for producing and preserving long-term affordable housing, so in a community land trust, physically for a period, the land is owned by the community land trust, which is usually a nonprofit, and subject to 99 year ground lease. individual units, which could be apartments or single family homes, it can vary based on the context, would be occupied by residents and subject to affordability restrictions, and and this 99-year ground
structure can allow for the gradual accumulation of some home equity by residents so that wealth is built, but it also doesn't allow for unlimited accumulation in order to guard against speculation, and rapidly increasing housing costs. and actually, the housing -- house financial services mark up for the build back better reconciliation bill includes significant funding for community land trust. >> great. >> when do you have zoning proposals to increase density in low income communities of color, in a localized way. either a localized way or part of the broader-based rezoning plan. you can, as a intended or unintended consequence, rapidly increase land value and home value in that neighborhood, running the risk of displacement.
that's part of why it's important to prioritize the upzoning efforts in hiring areas. but it's land displacement, community land trust prior to rezoning, then that 99-year ground lease structure provides a check again, speculation, and rapidly increasing prices so long time community residents have the opportunity to benefit in the new investments that may be made in the community. especially places like new york. >> great. thank you, and how can we here at the federal level help encourage more communities and neighborhoods to form community land trusts? >> absolutely. >> thank you, congresswoman. so i think there are a few key pieces, so the first piece is funding, additional funding for community land trust is vital, the effort to grow a community land trust model. as well as, and i'm not an
expert on this issue in particular, but through the gscs and fha, there may be some financing barriers that are more difficult for community land trust or other shared equity models to navigate than for more traditional types of affordable housing. so making it easier for community land trust financing, and then also there's also the question of the availability of plans. so encouraging local governments to, for instance, deed tax closed properties or or other surplus land, community land trust, as well. and then of course consistent with the subject of both hearings you need the zoning to be appropriate for the types of housing or housing and even some small business development as the community land trust is seeking to engage in them. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> the gentlewoman yields back. the chair now recognizes the
distinguished member, mr. posey, you're now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and thank you for holding this hearing. very disappointed to hear one of our witnesses stereotype and blame realtors for creating the problem by steering. it's offensive and not accurate. which i am one, adhere to a very strict code of ethics, a very strong code of ethics. they don't do that or they're not realtors. ask the witness if she would like to communicate with me offline, and provide me with evidence of the steering she claims is caused by realtors. dr. hamilton, i like your concept of renting. how would you rate programs that provide incentives for
affordable housing within low to moderate income neighborhoods, refer to programs that rely on relocating families to new neighborhoods. >> represent tich -- representative posey, thank you for the question. i would argue that both pieces are important. on the one hand, education -- exclusionary zoning is the first step to allowing more affordable housing to be built. on the other, it's not a sufficient policy to help the country's lowest income households in the near term in particular, so i think certainly subsidies to those lowest income households that can be used in those household's neighborhoods of choice are appropriate. but i would err on the side of granting beneficiaries the most freedom in determining where they would like to live that best meets their own needs, and pointing out that any subsidies will go further in localities
where exclusionary zoning is not a serious burden relative to those localities where it is. >> very good. thank you. what should our priorities be if we want to have the most impact? in disabilities reform? >> well, the barriers to housing construction vary wildly across the country in a dense old city, the most important barriers are very different than in a fast growing suburb, but across the country as a whole, i would argue that minimum lot size reform is the most important reform to permitting more lower cost housing to be built quickly. parts of the country have lot size reforms that are severely out of line with what the market is currently providing. in new england, in particular, it's not uncommon to see two or even five acre lot size requirements.
most simply put, making housing more affordable in lowering the cost of construction of new houses >> that's right. >> mark up prices determine that the new housing margin over the market, what should we do to reduce the cost of building single family houses? >> well, most importantly, addressing the regulatory barriers that without doing so more federal funding will simply increase the cost of existing housing stock without permitting that funding as well as private funding to housing to go toward lower costs, and more abundant housing supply. >> we all want to assess the accessibility, especially low to moderate income families. tell us what your research suggests are the best strategies to make affordable housing available? >> well, i've mentioned houston
as a potential model earlier. no locality in the u.s. does everything right in land use regulation. i would argue. but houston has a lot of lessons to teach other localities. they're widely recognized for permitting abundant green field development, which is true, but in addition, houston permits multifamily housing at a high rate. it has no areas of the city where local regulations prevent multifamily housing, and its minimum lot size reform that i mentioned earlier has resulted in the construction of tens of thousands of new townhouses, relatively affordable relative to single family development in some of its highest demand neighborhoods. >> thank you, i appreciate your detailed answer. inspiring me, chairman, thank you, again, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back, the chair recognizes the esteemed member from houston,
mr. green. >> thank you mr. chairman, i greatly appreciate the opportunity to be heard, and i do live in houston, and we do not have zoning in houston, texas, and while that can benefit a good many people, it also has a downside to it. i happen to have had the opportunity to serve as a judge of a small claims court, and we've had persons who have had, unfortunately, structures erected on properties near their homes that was not suitable, and when you don't have the zoning, you then have restrictive covenants. and getting those covenants enforced can be quite challenging, especially for a person with a modest income.
i'm interested in hearing from some of our panelists about these restrictive covenants that are not enforceable. i'm talking about those that can benefit a person, if you have one. a good many places, the covenants are not enforceable because they have not been honored over the years, and as a result, you can't enforce the covenant. so who would like to be the first to say a word about this problem we have when we don't have zoning and we cannot enforce covenants because of a lapse of activity over the years? >> representative green, i'll offer a brief answer since i've mentioned houston. certainly houston has seen the emergence of restrictive covenants, particularly in its single family neighborhoods in the absence of local zoning. certainly zoning does have
benefits for those who don't want to see change in their neighborhoods as land prices rise and demand for housing increases as well. i'd argue, though, that these benefits of zoning are outweighed by zoning's costs in terms of housing affordability and opportunities for people to live in the neighborhood or region of their choice. >> you mentioned lot size, and you mentioned houston, we have done well with lot sizes. since i live here, i guess my best evidence would be my experience as to what i've seen. explain to me what you mean by the lot sizes in houston, because i see still large acreage for single homes. >> thank you, representative.
in 1998, houston reduced the minimum lot size for development within its i-610 inner loop from 5,000 square feet down to 3,500 square feet, and in some cases, down to 1,400 square feet when specific requirements are met. and this has resulted in the construction of detached and attached townhouses in many of the city's neighborhoods, particularly those neighborhoods closest to downtown job centers. this has helped provide a lower cost type of housing construction, relative to large lots, single family development. private covenants may remain a barrier to town house construction in plenty of parts of the city, but the reform that local policy makers implemented has nonetheless resulted in the construction of tens of thousands of new units that would have been impossible to build otherwise.
>> since i have a bit of time left, and we have had lots of excellent questions, i'm going to go a little bit offline with this question. i see a lot of people just outside my window at my congressional office. who have made their homes the overpass. there are efforts afoot to relocate people from the overpass, and there's always a movement to place them in a certain area if at all possible. what have you seen across the country in terms of helping people to move from the overpasses to some places we would call a home? how does that work? >> thank you, again, representative. well, i would argue that -- oh, i'd point out that homelessness is not highest in the parts of the country where poverty is highest.
it's instead highest in the parts of the country where exclusionary zoning rules are most binding. subsidies and other interventions where homeless are needed to help in the near term. again, zoning is a relevant component. >> thank you, i yield back, mr. chairman, thank you very much. n yields back. the chair recognizes gentlemen style. rep. style: thank you very much, mr. chairman. appreciate everybody being on the call and hearing here today. i think we have had good dialogue care about what is really driving up the cost and how we get americans into housing and in particular what the role of zoning is in adjusting costs. we see often some of our biggest
cities, democratic-controlled cities across the united states have strict zoning rules and regulations that seem to be driving up the cost and i think it is something we don't spend enough time looking at and thinking about when you look at the cost of housing in new york city, los angeles, and what the role of local regulations is on this and what the role of this demand subsidies would have inside of the overall cost of housing in the context of not addressing the supply-side issue in many of our nation's largest cities. in particular in new york and los angeles which have supply kinds -- supply-side constraints coupled with some of the highest housing costs in the united states of america. if i could ask you, miss hamilton, you may know the majority passed about 300 million in new housing and most
of the money would go to demand-side subsidies. they start today's conversation, it seems clear a core problem we are facing in the market is the supply-side issue. many places, supplies tight and limited by overbearing regulations that the housing developments -- that makes this housing development uneconomical or in some cases impossible. can you ask what would happen if you had the federal government throws billions and billions of dollars more into the demand-side with limited supply? dr. hamilton: thank you, representative. that is a very real concern about expanding current federal housing subsidies, that in particularly the most exclusionary regions, the subsidies will increase the cost of a relatively fixed stock of housing. rather than leading to overall abundance and the opportunity
for more people to live in the location of their choice. there are samples where we see federal subsidies working well. leading to the construction of low-cost multifamily housing for whom the beneficiaries are intended to benefit and that is a positive outcome, but it is not the norm due to local exclusionary zoning rules. rep. steil: if i can, this format is terrible, i can't wait until we are in person again for hauer hearings, but i think what you are bringing up is really important. there's a great study out from 2018 that shows that regulations can add up to $93,000 in costs on a home where a typical family home price is now maybe just under $400,000 in the median. affectively, all of these regulations function as almost like a new tax on new housing
which moves us in the wrong direction. one of the things i don't think we discussed, who is footing the bill for this? are certain groups uniquely impacted by what i call nimby-ism of all of these local rules and regulation? dr. hamilton: yes. low income households are those most burdened with the cost of exclusionary zonings. to the extent that additional subsidies will increase the price of market rate housing, which is what the vast majority of americans of all income levels live in. rep. steil: so is it fair to say some of our biggest democratic on cities that are putting in all of these regulations and controlling the supply are clobbering the low income household? that is your take on this? dr. hamilton: certainly. rep. steil: mind too. it is one of the big frustrations i have here is we only look at increasing demand-side money, spending
taxpayer dollars from all across the nation and really not addressing the supply-side issue in some of our biggest democratic-run cities. you share that frustration it sounds like, ms. hamilton. dr. hamilton: i do. rep. steil: could you maybe add a little more color what we'd be doing on the zoning side? >> i would support a flexible grant program. with freedoms on what they sent, it's for defensible purposes. because the purpose of the grant is to encourage regulatory reform. not the specific programmatic outcome. >> mister chairman i appreciate you holding today's hearing and i will come back. >> let me just make a correction, for the record.
i recognize the -- representative from ohio. >> let me say good afternoon, and thank you chairman. [inaudible] my first question is for sheryll cashin. and it's meant -- we're talking about segregation, and towns that were known as black neighborhoods, wealthy neighborhoods. remnants persist in cities today, and communities all around the country. and that's what we're doing today. and from the zoning and policies and --
about discrimination, but how do our current zoning policies remain a tool for discrimination and segregation in your opinion? >> thank you congresswoman for the question. the zoning was struck down by the supreme court, even though many exclusionary zoning were animated, and continue to be, they used racially useful tools to exclude people who cannot buy very expensive large lots. . so you can require certain
types of materials for housing for certain housing,. not even for market rate. so this disproportionately exclude people of color. >> thank you and mr. silverstein for housing that has little income, and if things aren't in the right place it can exacerbate affordable housing housing. and if we have affordable
housing instead of more luxury condos like we see in columbus ohio? >> so i think there are few pieces, the technicalities of zoning reform, especially for the environments. so the purpose of zoning reform -- and it doesn't mean there wouldn't be housing produced as a result of the development and there's a place for that, and you can't cross subsidize affordable housing unit could be done. but that basically is a double policy sign.
the overriding purpose is to create more affordable housing. there is a jurisdiction or if it is engaging in -- if it is predictable that just as much as exclusionary zoning raises questions and the doj needs to have an enforcement role to play. certainly that is something. >> i have to interrupt because my time is almost up. and i want to thank you because it's for the record. and if we look at what most folks have testified, [inaudible] and have a question for my colleagues on both sides the aisle. and this is what congressman
waters was saying, we are going back on the floor and we are voting for -- and we must include housing at the highest amount when we come back on reconciliation. thank you and i yield back. >> the another chair recognizes -- you have five minutes. >> sorry about that, so ranking member hill thank you for holding this hearing, and for your time and expertise on this friday afternoon. the supply of homes for sale in august 2021, was 3.9 million units, and is down from july,
13.4% from august of last year. and that's according to the national association of realtors. they are struggling to keep up the demand, and resulting in higher prices for homes. therefore it is critical, that we have affordable housing markets for families across the nation. the sixth congressional district, 12.9% of total occupation and units are manufacturing homes. it is the most affordable option for minorities and underserved groups. 90% of new homes, under 75, 000, or manufactured housing. doctor hamilton, many have found manufacturing homes, has
really gate these into a special zone, in one small area in the community. this often can eliminate the homeownership in areas of opportunity in that community. at the federal level, how can we incur community to expand zoning, to increase affordability. especially in areas of opportunity. near good paying jobs, and other amenities. >> thank you representative rose i agree on the importance of manufactured homes as one of the solutions to abundant low cost housing. some states have taken a an approach of requiring a permit. these manufactured homes across the state. nebraska being one example. but i would argue that state
policy or federal policy intended to increase the availability of homes could go further in addressing roles like minimum requirements, that these manufactured homes don't make sense. or between the loss and the cost. to have a logical market outcome. >> so let me stay on point here for a second so when you have grant money so those who have manufactured housing that has not utilized this and many communities in my zoning plan so this eliminates homeownership for many parts of the country. how do you include manufactured
housing? >> oh that could certainly go further to act on that language. but change must come from congress and changing the statute that we've worked with to provide them with work to compel local zoning reform. >> very good i just want your opinion on it a lot of people moving from places like california in the northeast and maybe in tennessee you can afford local planning commissions if they sub divide property into five acres. and tennessee has another curiosity that they require. which is an axis to strip to a
public road. so this would be very difficult subdivision happening with 50 foot strips. have you seen that problem and what is the long term implication that's divided and to complete the zoning requirements. >> representative that is an excellent example of the many regulations sometimes leading to outcomes but just don't make sense. and seeing how the d construction as a result. and that's why the housing market outcomes, arrogant have policy changes. >> thank you my time has expired. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields >>, a chernow recognizes the member
from california >> thank you very much, mister chairman. i love to celebrate anybody we celebrate. i want to thank you and the ranking member and especially the chairwoman because this is a very important issue. housing in the affordability it's complicated. just to be frank, i was on the council for city council for about seven years. i sat on two committees mostly with the housing committee and public state committee. i got to know a little bit about san diego. every city is different. basically we are constrained, you can't go sell it because it's a different country. you can't go west, you'll bump into mountains and it's difficult to build in mountains. going north you get to camp
pendleton. we don't want to change that. so your really constrained and so almost all the available in -- now density is very very important and that's where zoning comes. and -- areas that were over 50 years old would allow change and zoning for six units in a single family neighborhood. and of course, they thought it would be a great idea because it's closer to downtown with transportation corridors. who is dilapidated. it needed change, because it
was 50 years old. but they thought it was a good idea. would happened instead was, you got a lot of people that came in and did the hustle sixpack about a single family house. a squeezed it and they built the ugliest possible square box with six units there. instead of having grass law it was all cement. bra it destroyed those neighborhoods. just to park your car. i could tell you that most of the problems that we had in those neighborhoods of course came out of law -- so they changed the zoning, which was too bad because it was really a character with they built. not -- they built it cheaply and as badly as they possibly could. now we are building with much
more density than that and it's done right. they don't just scraped the front yard or an area of the apartment. you go up a number of spaces, but it's a better building. anyway, i mention that because it's not so easy just a simply change. in this neighborhood, they noticed people of color moving in. don't build thaw -- it will destroy the neighborhood. because you have a comment on that? i believe in destiny law. law >> can you hear me? >> yes, absolutely. >> part of the reason why i jean encourage communities to adopt their own inclusion
zoning coordinates it could be tailored to their own individual circumstances. and the process of doing, hopefully awful, with all constituencies in the community, they get to participate in with that looks like for the federal government to say what it should look like, but the point is that communities and yes, including a lot of law democrat run cities, learn -- inclusion where people of all colors, races and economic circumstances could live together more densely more affordably. i love creating more micro housing, allowing manufactured housing to come in. it's forcing --
to put pressure on localities to innovate to those of the future that includes work for everyone. >> my time is up. i agree with you. the only thing is i think the product is important, because if you do build a crappy building, that does in fact create problems for everybody, especially if you want to create more density. it is one of the most dense places in the world. density is good if it's done right. i yield back. >> the acclaimed floridian mr. lawson. you are now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mister chairman. thank you for having this hearing and having this panel. i think it's an important issue.
full time workers that minimum wage -- can only afford one bedroom home and according to this report and then to have another detrimental homeownership -- it will have a determined to effect. [inaudible] [inaudible] -- and all to afford a one bedroom home. you have to earn 18 dollars and 63 cents per hour, ten dollars more than the minimum wage. two dollars more than with the averages hiring. putting minimum wages side, with those low income households --
among >> thank you for the question. income levels with that housing coalition supplying demand are complicated issues, what you referring to, peoples income to provide opportunities for people for rent controlled rent at the same time, to increase so the supplies not-so-constrained as the cost goes up in whether the millions talked about billions of dollars going to construction with affordable housing and those units across the country
affordability crisis that centers racial equity that is one critical piece of our strategy. it has to be strategic and targeted and it also has to be paired with actual investments such as subsidized housing. those included in the build back better reconciliation package. the investment of housing choice vouchers is not just a demand side measure -- it includes vouchers that are project based, so i don't think we should buy and with those other investments -- with that i yield back.
>> the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the notable new yorker -- >> thank you, mister chair. the united states continues to be zoned and to perpetuate housing segregation to perpetuate school segregation by race and class. -- preaches equal opportunity while at the same time practicing segregation -- [inaudible] and the research to persuasively show that often -- destiny, and then to determine the opportunity and mobility. one of the most egregious forms of exclusionary single families owning, so single families owning is that a violation of the fair housing act?
>> i would have to say yes. >> i will explain often -- i will have to say often and explain why. your testimony -- in my opinion has false choice with the housing subsidy -- we need greater housing supply and we need greater housing subsidy to ensure affordability. that would make affordable housing units. for the lowest income americans. awesome [inaudible]
it seems to exclude the community. it's unlikely nasa to be swayed by the incentives start. and with that land use necessary to address the affordability crisis. >> thank you, representative. then to encourage locals earning reform, because the problem is most severe with tax based localities where the federal grants are least effective in for that reason any program must be designed to be as effective as possible and
recognizing that ultimately, performance must come from the local or state level rather than relying on federal pure strings. >> it seems to me the proper response is not incentive, but the proper response is more about robust enforcement of the fair housing act. -- i admire your research on segregation. a me there's an understandable concern that displacement rather than segregation. [inaudible] among -- how does that displaced the fear? >> thank you. two thoughts on that issue. first of all, i think there's evidence that exclusionary zoning in general causes more
gentrification then andy among middle class neighborhood amid -- because of exclusionary zoning, amid that leads them to -- neighborhood that is gentrifying. so that is part of the issue. the other is we've learned from california and elsewhere that zoning reforms that provide up zoning's without protection for individuals who may face displacement. it is wrong and politically not feasible as well. i would agree with the professor. for inclusionary measures amin area that is being absent and take associated measures to
make sure that there is not expensive displacement. >> is there a locality -- affordable, sustainable and equitable model? >> i think we are still searching for that perfect model. >> i yield my time. thank you. i >> [inaudible] among >> i would like to place into the record a letter from the multinational housing council without objection -- [inaudible] law. [inaudible]
owning -- [inaudible] gentrification happens with the community when people are displaced from communities that have lived there for a long time. so gentrification is when they could start to change predominantly to one that has higher prices and it causes people to live there that they can no longer afford to live there. [inaudible] that is my definition for the housing development. >> are you still with us?
[inaudible] affordable homeownership and zoning laws, building codes with affordable housing and development and then we need to create a means of reducing the racial home ownership gap. i don't know if any of those things we did [inaudible] [inaudible] are moving in and they have a significant income level over the existing residents.
what is that? is that gentrification? >> i apologize. i'm having connectivity issues. i'm not sure i got all of the question. the question of gentrification and displacement is an essential one. we have to see some movement where there are neighborhoods where there is going to be a nice healthy, economic mix, but we have to have those protections in place to make sure -- i apologize but i did not get the entire question. >> i get excited about those areas and kansas city, missouri,
that are now becoming diversified and racially mixed. but many of the homeowners are saying to me look, we will get out of here, it's just a matter of time. [inaudible] because the people who are moving and have higher income. and i'm not sure about the zoning law. i'm looking forward to -- [inaudible] >> i would say philadelphia is one of the leaders on this issue where there are taking steps to support those who are
longtime residents in the community fierce. that's a model to look at. >> and adding to that conversation we had earlier -- >> all right, thank you very much for providing us with this information. let me recognize the ranking member. >> mr. cleaver, thank you. >> thank you. excellent give and take. just a quick question. we won't be able to see each other and person. we haven't had a hearing in the oversight of the secondary mortgage market since december 2018. i wanted to put that on your radar to see if you would agree with me that perhaps our full committee chair, that we do
that. >> [inaudible] i think it would be a good time for us to have that. >> thank you and i yield back. >> i would like to thank all the witnesses and the ranking members, and without objection -- [inaudible] which will be forwarded to the witnesses to please respond as promptly as you are able to. [inaudible] [inaudible]