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July 30

Want more housing? Ending single-family zoning won’t do it.

Before Covid-19, YIMBY seemed ready to go mainstream. Many recognized that NIMBYism run amok would lead to more inequality, fewer housing options and higher home prices. Now, pandemic-driven budget cuts and unemployment further underline the importance of housing affordability.

Policy makers can allow more low-cost housing to be built, but outsize emphasis on ending single-family zoning deviates from other barriers to building more affordable “missing middle” homes. These barriers include the need to change parking requirements, and limits on building and lot size.

Bloomberg City Lab • July 29, 2020

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2020 is the summer of booming home sales — and evictions

The coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating inequities across America, especially in housing. This summer, Americans with money in the bank are buying bigger homes, while renters increasingly worry about eviction.

Washington Post • July 27, 2020

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Court quashes push for racial equity in NYC neighborhood planning

A precedent-setting court ruling could have forced the city to study the racial impacts of a neighborhood rezoning. But an unanimous appeals court decision this week reversed that directive.

Now, a stalled 2018 rezoning of Inwood, in Northern Manhattan will move forward. The reversal is a blow to community advocates who hoped the challenge would force a deeper study of the rezoning’s racial and socioeconomic implications — and serve as a milestone for advancing more equitable city planning.

Curbed • July 24, 2020

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Policy can clash with affordable housing

Efforts to green buildings can unintentionally price out low-income residents.

The tension between affordable housing and climate policy is long-standing and complicated. People can't "participate in a green economy if their homes are going to be destabilized and under threat by the very investments that we are driving to bring down the carbon emissions," says Khalil Shahyd of the Natural Resources Defense Council, "Housing policy is climate policy."

Scientific American • July 24, 2020

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How urban planning is a tool of white supremacy

Minneapolis is one of the most liberal cities in the US. Yet, its legacy of structural racism was laid bare when George Floyd’s neck was pinned to the ground by a police officer’s knee. Kirsten Delegard, a Minneapolis historian, and co-founder of University of Minnesota’s Mapping Prejudice project sheds new light on the “darker truths about the city” and the role that racist barriers to home ownership have had on segregation.

Fast Company • July 29, 2020

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