Ballot initiatives to increase housing won big on Tuesday, a possible harbinger for 2022.
The epicenter of the action was in the West, particularly in Colorado, where housing prices have skyrocketed in recent years, with short-term rentals helping lead the way. In Leadville, a scenic former silver mining town, voters overwhelmingly approved a new 3 percent tax on visitors staying in hotels, motels and short-term rentals, which will be used to create more affordable housing.
Measures to increase fees on short-term rentals passed in Telluride, Avon and Ouray; Vail approved a sales tax increase for housing.
Shifts Toward the Extremes – Zoning Change in Major U.S. Metropolitan Areas From 2003 to 2019
Many local governments do use zoning that limits apartment construction; in some metros, more places embraced than abandoned exclusionary zoning. Rather than too little housing, however, these regions had depressed markets long dominated by racially motivated exclusionary zoning. Meanwhile, zoning grew more accommodating to apartments in strong-market metro areas that have concerned the pundits.
What Is NIMBYism and How Do Affordable Housing Developers Respond to It?
Nonetheless, community opposition in the permitting stages frequently leads to increased costs and delays in many affordable housing projects. That’s something many developers don’t want to deal with. When NIMBYism is expressed through exclusionary zoning, it can keep affordable housing out of certain communities altogether. The affordable housing field has many strategies it can use to try to overcome NIMBY opposition and get housing built in places where it has been kept out.
What will Minneapolis’ rent control policy look like?
Minneapolis voters gave city leaders the green light to move forward with enacting rent control, with 53% of voters approving a ballot measure on Tuesday. But what kind of policy gets passed — if any at all — is up to a new, slightly more moderate city council and reelected mayor, who are unlikely to approve of an ordinance as exacting as one approved by a similar share of voters in St. Paul. Mayor Jacob Frey said he voted yes on the rent control ballot initiative but said he doesn’t see it as a mandate that the city must pass a rent stabilization policy. “What (the ballot initiative) says is people want to look at the data and consult with the experts and determine what could be or could not be an appropriate policy,” Frey said.
A surge in the US affordable housing supply is coming from people who can’t afford their homes
Cheaper homes are hitting the market as people who can no longer afford to pay their mortgages put their homes up for sale. Emergency federal mortgage forbearance policy allowed those affected by the pandemic to temporarily pause mortgage payments. Once it ended this October, more people were forced to sell. This contributed to the total of 78,000 affordable homes on the market in the third quarter, a continued increase in supply that began in the second quarter of 2021.
REAL ESTATE AND MOBILITY
Denver to Create New Permanent Outdoor Dining Program
Denver City Council Member Amanda Sawyer reports that more than 370 bars and restaurants participated in an innovative program launched last year which streamlined approval and permitting processes, allowing restaurants to quickly expand operations amid social distancing guidelines. The program helped keep businesses afloat, generated sales tax revenue for the City that might have otherwise been lost, and provided residents enjoyable, safe outdoor dining options. Under the temporary program, adjustments were reviewed for public safety and accessibility, but didn’t have specific or dedicated zoning and design standards. Early next year, Community Planning and Development will launch a public process to develop the zoning standards that would apply under a permanent program. after the temporary program ends in October 2022. In the coming months, DOTI will establish processes around the permanent outdoor dining program, likely transitioning from a quarterly to annual permit renewal process and outlining requirements that maintain public safety and mobility. Criteria/limits for using parking lanes and travel lanes for dining will be established to ensure safety for all. Additionally, a permanent outdoor dining program will require amendments to the Denver Zoning Code, which regulates private property in Denver.