« The Weeds

Housing policy, but make it British

2021-10-29

America’s housing market is failing to meet the needs of most Americans. Rents have skyrocketed, homeownership is slipping out of grasp for young and other first-time homebuyers, and policymakers have struggled to meet the moment. But we’re not alone. The UK is also facing a dire housing shortage, one that is leading to skyrocketing rents and home prices. Usually, the solution to this problem is pushing higher levels of government to step in where local government has failed, but today’s guest, John Myers, the co-founder of London YIMBY, thinks his country should go in the opposite direction: more local.

References:

More Housing? YIMBY, Please (Bloomberg)

Strong Suburbs: Enabling streets to control their own development (Policy Exchange)

Seoul searching – does the Korean capital have the solution to the housing crisis? (CapX)

How Houston Achieved Lot Size Reform (Planetizen)

California is ending a rule that helped cause its housing crisis (Vox)

Hosts:

Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox

Credits:

Sofi LaLonde, producer & engineer

Libby Nelson, editorial adviser

Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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did you know I read a lot for box about housing policy and there's something going on right now in the UK that caught my interest here in the United States were facing severe housing shortage. A recent report by Freddy MAC estimates, three point: eight million housing units are desperately needed right now to meet demand. How we ve gone to this point is no mystery and much the United States, particularly in the past. so people really need to live for good jobs. It's illegal to build enough homes. Not only is it illegal to build a giant apartment building in large parts of Manhattan, it's also illegal to build small apartment buildings complexes, duplexes, homes and even mother, in law. Sweet in your own backyard,
regulations, don't just restrict the type of building. They restrict a bunch of other things that drive up costs, for instance, minimum lot sizes. These cause new single family homes to be much larger than they need to be. It squeezes the supply of small single family homes and mixed a lot harder for first time homebuyers to find an entry level house. As a result, housing activists and experts have mostly advocated for states to step in where localities have failed and begin taking responsibility for their housing crises, notably places like how a four year or again Connecticut, they ve all taken steps to enact statewide zoning, form. But today we're going to look at a different country and a different solution. My guess is John Myers he's the co founder of London. Be yes! In my back yard approach. housing organization. The Uk John has a really interesting proposals. Housing even more local John welcomed, the show excited to be here, sinister in the United States about exclusionary zoning restrictions is pretty well documented right, like after
explicitly racist, owning laws, kind of get struck down by Supreme Court as unconstitutional facial, trolls zoning lies sort of explode over the country in an attempt to kind of control the racial make up of different neighborhoods overtime. These have become pretty clear clasping Here's to entry, indifferent neighborhoods. But I'm curious like How did the UK problems develop? Is there a similar sort of story there? How did you are kind of arrive at your current moment, It's a long story there and the biggest event that we really see is around the time of this. Can we would say we can go back some eighteen, sixty five. nineteen, thirty nine, and we can see that wages grew about three times as fast. As the price of houses over the entire period and then just before the war started weeping the construction new housing and we thank completely bullshit. You saying in the last century, quieted discretionary permission of almost any construction immediately after the war
since then, we essentially patent built enough. So since the end of the war we'd never built where the ground that housing stock of the net rate Where is that in the eighteen twenties when the nineteen thirties, and yet it almost impossible to find other things that we may. for that we build those waiting less well than we did. In the end, seen, hundreds and just comparing it is in prices again from nineteen, thirty, nine to twenty. Sixteen house prices grew twice as fast as wages. That process had gone into reverse, basically, you're similar sorts of Zanu restrictions and behaves like in the United States, like obviously single my housing a sort of unwanted they once we will talk about a lot, but they know their variety of these kinds of restrictions that have made it difficult to build sufficient housing. How does it look in the UK and what? What kind of restricting the ability to build sufficient homes get me don't even ready. Housings any will be kind of a step forward from where we have right now is that you basically need discretion commission to build anything and so pretty much every
is illegal unless you managed to talk the local government into giving you a permit to build it and in fact it The huge controversy over the last year, where the government effectively try to introduce a by right, closer so that you at least know what you could build, and this was heralded as a massive step forward and those enormous backlash even against that nothing It is a fact and we decided not go ahead with those reforms so as bad it Is it in the most restrictive places at this stage, but it's that bad all across the entire United Kingdom. Well, it's always nice to know that America'S- not not in the worst in something. So I looked. Let's turn your people oh here, because I first heard of it. I think I Tyler Cow and whose an economist at George Mason University wrote about this proposal. Its culture. we vote x out. Tell us what it what a street voting so I do is just that. There are plenty of places plenty of streets where you could very easily We take single Hamley homes and replace them with a poem
blogs or maybe even just with townhouse is maybe ten has its duplexes triple x is perhaps, and that will be economically viable. You'd create a lot more housing you'd often create a more workable street, because you'd be creating more. customers for local businesses, they will be more viable, have shops, The things in the area of people wouldn't have to take a car to users Let us be repaired, there is somebody else, it's time for you, you aiming to identify some of these red low density suburban areas and its super hard to do that across the entire state or across the entire supper the California Jimmy's is an incredible work on some of that densification, but there is still a long way to go in England where facing an even tougher problem, and so we will look into it. I find ways that we could actually get through and why do we came across his well? What if the people on the particular street the residence on a particular We could just kind of release themselves of some The any restrictions and allow more density on that street
and so they could allow sing. For me, I was to be turned into this trip. excess or maybe apartment blocks, and you have to have safeguards around that were suggesting a two thirds majority was suggesting it's. The vote is by the residence on the street, not the owners. So you get protection for the tenants and other people who actually get my say rather than just being excluded from the process, but we ve had a little traction with that kind of idea The idea is essentially is that people would vote on what development happens on their street. Any you mean literally street, you mean, like just the block between two inner actions when people get to make those decisions for on that specific community, and so in any wrestling. MR local control has been summing up, people are really anathema. to increase feeling like that's going to. You actually increase the problem or having, because we see as we increased local control, the United States. People have actually been opposed to change policy development and that's kind of the the rise of the so called nimby. Not in my back yard phenomenon is is it is a direct result of of allowing
folks at the local level, do come up the process, so why did you decide to move in the other direction? And why do you feel like it's not going to exacerbate the problem? The legal process we're talking about would only that people opt in Timor see it's not suggesting that they could tie ratchet back and unrest I don't see even more, although it frankly, This is how to envisage how you could restrict density even further and certainly in the UK, is extraordinarily difficult to build anything. So that might be a little bit less of a concern for us, because it's hard hit in a system which is more restrictive than below. have right now, but essentially we ended up. Is it because we seen For the last seventy years, people have been trying to fix this system and housing. Second, please come and go. They get fired the enthusiastic ones to try and get things bill. They get moved on. Governments try something as I said just this, relatively minor form of bringing in by right zoning the law,
having actually got replaced and the government has seemed to retreated somewhat from those proposals. So incredibly do in England, at least to get these kind of reforms through, and this seems to us I think that we can pretty much get a coalition behind a broad coalition Cross party, in fact of people who want more housing, and he believed that this can be a way to enable housing. environmentally friendly way in good places. I would suppose that it is possible that for given development, it's possible to convince the government too prove it, but you wouldn't be able to convince the locals to approve it. So why do you think that go and visuals be more amenable to increase housing rather than the government. So when we traces imagined how service in this country coming at me, essentially was asked. How did you talk the individual in the doctors into accepting this and he said well, we stuff their mouths with gold
animal where you can come and see. That is what we are proposing here, because the uplift, an individual homeowners, get for their rights turn a single family home into say to trip Lexus in many places, this. Absolutely enormous sooner and we ve done focus groups, we serve people on this, and certainly not everybody is up for that change. but there's a certain America economic benefit. That really does make people get out of bed and think about these things, and we think this kind of changes drastic enough that it really will so a lot of good research. Everything United States owe Catherine Einstein who is at boss, university and her co. Authors have sort of looked at the make up of who shows up to these kind of public meetings, and it's usually very kind of unrepresentative of the broader public, most notably you're, more likely to be a homeowner and moral could be much older, but you're showing up in voting in this place. I am, I know you mentioned earlier, that you're trying to include these safeguards to two key, get like two thirds majority before a decision can be made
and made legal, and you can see change the development schemes in these places. Would you expect to see it as on representative in UK when you have these votes go through or how are you going to create safeguards? Make sure that you know had represented and lower income and tenants are going to be included in this process. Is the great question: let me I'm parents to pause if I may so that one of the problems of the way works in this country, the Roman and maybe in the United States, as well as that you get Heidi, privileged people who extraordinarily resistant to change, you have a massively overweight invalid. In what happens in the process veto players. If you got you can pull him that an that's happened because of zoning happens through the kind of customary political decision process
And so each individual politician is worried about getting replaced by the party you and a primary. They got a hold of different ways that they can be attacked in, and that makes it very vulnerable to these veto plans, and so our belief is that if you have these direct democratic mechanisms, were you actually do have a majority for change? There will be much easier for that majority to overrule tiny minority people- you just don't want any changes which we call on bananas, build absolutely nothing anyone here. Anyone so. The other thing is, I think, if you do have a kind of direct democratic process. Yes, it becomes a certain amount of effort to go out and vote, but its voting about your street and people care about place where they live. It's a lot easier to be motivated about that, and it's just They. So it's not what you have to go in a ten endless committee hearings. You don't have to go lobby politicians either have to try and become influential local gum
You can just turn off and say yes or no in the ballot box. We think that's a great way to empower the less privileged communities who are really leaders from many processes that we have right now. I think that this is our work. that is hard to imagine from the american contact? because I live in Washington, DC destinations, capital and looking at voting and local elections in the? U S and their wards induce. You had struggled to get out of the single digits when people are voting in local elections and its now even extremely high. Even one look at national actions, which I think in the USA have much higher turnouts, or is it just a much different culture of voting in the UK or like? How are you gonna get get people to? For this I mean if their busy for their jobs sought, like specifically, they don't care, but it's just hard to make that kind of a trade,
if you're, you know already not willing to vote in in like May or elections like what what's gonna change your mind here, tuna is definitely benefit in the UK that is higher in the UK. There is in many parts of the United States, but one of the goals of this kind reform is to actually push change into. Those areas which have been in credit becomes one not having changed for very long time which have usernames color exclude an fight change, and so do you actually do get turned out in some of these fellows and if you do very large amounts of money from some of those homeowners some streets will annoy, demonstrates by voting in favour of more developed, and we were pretty confident that a blessing on that. But I am coming back to treaties, innocently citys, you historic, keeping disenfranchised and had turned out to vote in the UK, at least you see, allotted to them- are concentrated in these on the privileged areas. So cave could argue to actually
we don't, as is already needs, be encouraging even more developed in these committees unless they want it answer. If people don't possibility, make me, as you did, that that's kind of that's fine by me and there are other examples around the world which give us plenty of evidence that you will get a good turn out and you will get some of these votes past life. Have you two were raised at some point if you like yeah for shark, but for now we are granting a quick break and we come back later about why people are would choose to build more housing in their block in the first place, Talking about climate change is hard because it's complicated climate grief. be paralyzing and optimism. Just your fate in the weeds. We talk about climate change. A lot and its put the big political issue that is is a huge part of what Congress is trying to deal with right now or not. Dealing with the case may be, and also a really personal one hell of your
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lowering filtered through the lens of science and history, I'm Cynthia and along with my covers Nicky, we bring you along on a journey of discovery. Every episode. We explore every you never knew about your favorite foods. Our latest episode is all about Halloween food from the weird history of fortune telling apples to what makes candy corn so polarizing joining us. Are they award winning hosts of cafes history podcast now, and then they reveal how hollowing is truly an american invention and how trick or treating is actually relatively recent arrival all that pleasant, introduct two hollowing deeper meaning through the traditional dishes of dna, less martyrs and also day around the world, listen and follow Gasteropoda on Apple or wherever you get your podcast. Welcome back to the weeds, our guests to day is John Myers, and we ve been charting a bit about his housing proposal and how it would work in the United Kingdom. I think often people think that well
a broad based economic benefit to joining individual homeowners who see their areas get denser, are going to experience financial repercussions, but there's reasonably. That isn't the case, and I think you ve touch on this earlier in the episode has already, but the thing Ngos when your neighborhood up zones, the value of your property, actually can go up. If you are only allowed to build. Single family home on that piece of land to probably sell it for a lot of money. If you add a different kind of accoutrements, whether as you know, a pool in the back yard or or an extra bathroom are things like that, but there's like diminishing returns at some level. But you know when you up zone and say like ok. Now, ten people or ten units of of housing can exist in this land. Each individual unit will be less expensive that single family home, but you're go, to get the ability to extract rents, essentially from ten different groups of people. So that means all of a sudden developers be willing to pay. You a lot more money for
your land and it's gonna increase the value of these homes is, is the way to thinking go so soon that model. We should actually see property values rise when up zoning happens, but we know what I've fresher this proposal as a kind of sceptical I we have like lots of research. and anecdotes of, local homeowners lobbying their cities to keep their neighborhoods the same. But if this is, ass if financial benefit like why? Don't we see homeowners lobbying their local is only words just observed there. One law or things like that like wiser, no one who is just like Manna could make ten million dollars. If I just got this to happen, why don't we see that? Well, I think you We actually do see. Quite a lot of Herman is we'd love to do more with their long, and we see a lot of people who complain about the restrictions on them personally for developing a lot of people. Love to be allowed to develop songs. Nobody else was, but in terms why doesn't have a slightly biggest scale? I think you have to come back to these. Her committee and as you say, it tends to be a very vocal kind of privileged small group of people who turn up and show
and it takes a huge amount of effort for the zoning change through on the compresses any had, as you said at the beginning, savings designed to stop change it with designers, stop new people moving in its design to start changing the neighborhood. If you started to look at how to design a system to block up and change, you would probably end up with the institutions which pretty much the way, the zoning as decided right now, if you want to encourage changes, I need just gonna make it easier to set up so does not make sense. Now, a days think one of things I want to explore here, just potentially other reasons why people are keeping their home the way they are beyond just sort of the financial changes I mean earlier this year, I think I reserves in a twitter conversation with Alex Tab. Iraq has also it George MACE University, and I make the point earlier that big part of the reason why people were afraid of change. The neighbourhood is because the financial harms they feel are going to see
on whether not that's true people are really scared about something that has you know all of their life savings on changing and in value, and that that's a really a concerning thing and that perhaps if we had a better social safety net in the United States, you would be able to kind of lower temperatures allotted conversation, because people wouldn't be afraid of you. No massive, nickel bills or or other kinds of financial emergencies completely wiping them out anyway, for that. He made an end. The point that some other people who grew tomatoes just that this misunderstands why people want to maintain control over their local area, that it's not a financial reason entirely. But a large part of this is that people like to have imagined they like to buy into certain amenities they liked or ST look a certain way. They really enjoy the specific features of low density, even in urban areas. It is something that has real effect, especially they have concerned, but the type of make up the people who live in their area, whether they have prejudices against renters or different racial groups or class backgrounds, or things like that, so
You can turn there's gonna, be a lot of voting for increased housing production, because people's financial motives are not actually the driving force here. Why completely taken point? The fleshless is not there driving force here and You also see that in new HIV formation in exile, urban development, where people voluntarily choose to opt in kind of legal restrictions on this, but Adducing is a massive difference as you. So, as you said, if you ask one homeowner what they like their lot obtained very and they will say yes, I love that and its personal financial decisions. Then, when you get up to then the entire city people less averse to change, and so the only question is: where does that? Stop on that scale between one people and a hundred thousand million people, I'm pretty happy to better reached ten or twenty houses, which are very happy to take all of those up. Zoning funds in exchange for replacing having the permission to replace their single family homes with duplexes in trip taxes. And, let's not overstate the poem,
Hey you know in a place like color answer, will be an amazingly better city if it formal housing, and if you create some rental units in Palo Alto, it's not like they're going to be suddenly become a hotbed. Of course. I'm the wool. Scandinavia say I think it's possible to overstate the concerns about change here and what always trying to resolve the politics of letting the people who are willing to accept changing disruption, opt for that and to stop a few tiny group of veto players from blocking them from doing so. Well, let's talk about the politics of a bit more than because it means you mentioned that attempts to change there are even institute any kind of zoning. I'm reform have been met with a lot of a backlash. Talk to us about the recent developments there. About a year ago, Bishop came out of the replies of England, saying I wanna make them much more certain we're gonna have zones where you can build a lot. And even in existing urbanists them areas, weaknesses
to allow a certain amount of additional development and the an incredible counter action unless they even I, Cynic, as I am didn't expect quite how strong that counteract will be its lead to the formation of an entire new alliance of people campaigning against these sorts of changes against zoning, form against imposing more housing through targets, and so it's probably honestly, being cancer productive in the sense that toxify the politics of getting funding going through me change more difficult. Now I think it's gonna take the new housing sexually other work to move on from that one. things that, I think as eyes. At least I stated concern of people who are concerned about these types of on changes is worried.
What kind of predatory behaviour that could occur right. So, let's say you know ST voting proposal passes and then you know adult or knows that you know what we need to do and in conjunction with maybe some property owners in area is that we do pressure people to vote for uploading, and it could be things where there are like paying people to do so or theirs providing than that kind of thing. will benefit therein and its debatable whether or not their net were softening. Perhaps it's good. They can extract. You from developers and landlords, but at the same time, like could definitely see the situation where more disadvantaged groups are our kind of really a short and pushed by landlords, and developers to make a decision that may be they per, would prefer for their own communities. So what kinds of safeguards are going to exist for that sort of happenstance? Let me say from the these kind of ST proposals are most likely to work. I think in areas of single family housing, and historic desert tended to be more privileged areas, so that immediate consigning is probably a little bit less relevant.
In addition to that, there are a number of safeguards we suggested, so we suggested what majority threshold, where you also have a majority The people have been resident back for these three years, so that would stop man, those kind of packing backing out apartments with people to carry a vote We borrowed an idea from California and be it so it's not seeing if you give him credit rating and to say that if you ve been any tenants in that property within twelve months before the development happened, then those tenants have to be paid twelve months, cash rent, I'm at a rate of ever pay and so This is a protection there for those tenants which is vastly better than the protection that they get in the private market. Right now, where we don't have, we don't have a rank. Ashore has come So essentially we have no fault eviction provision so tense. Don't have security tenure, an answer. This is why we have leading tenants groups support
This kind of idea, because a were giving tenets, the vote be were making sure, even if they vote for it, they get well compensated. and back is not more security. Its. It seems to me that light you know this is something that also has a lot of political roadblocks in its way, and and potentially this is like a difference in how the- U S and and the UK work, but he's a convincing elites that, though the housing production problem is going to have massive economic harms, is a much more easy proposition and tell individuals it like if you're up zone, your story like it's gonna, created national catastrophes like I just q talkest through the politics, it that's why you actually think it's much more feasible to go this route. Show me the events in this country of pretty must be convinced that we have a housing problems released fifty years because of land where you could housing started going up immediately in the mighty fifties is almost immediately after we did this major reform and so pretty much. Every government has at least pay lip service to the idea that they need to know more housing, and the problem
has come when they actually try to put that into practice. They get blocked at various levels, and so the old Jake is England is a while she, the conservative party, sorry he is a dictatorship, punctuated by regicide and save the pernicious, get shot by the Mps in parliament and it is a very tight constraints on what that Prime Minister can push them peace, a vote for, and this loss of, as you know, like for resistance to change, and so are ideal Why don't you just try carrots and sticks for the first time and their opinion don't as in other areas by accounts that she can work quite well, especially if you're offering enormous gold plated character. People some people are gonna pick those carrots also, in our view, its worth a try, The political resistance to these ideas is actually minimal. We haven't incredible list or cross party supporters from the Labour Party, the conservative party, liberal Democrats, we have the farmers association itself will Town Planning Institute has suggested the trials of these ideas. The former heads
the voice, you sheepish architects, a community groups. You it. Is this almost no real political resistance to this kind of idea action? The people- I just don't want a change at all and I should add in the: U S context me the american plenty associate. very kindly. Let me right an edition of the zoning practice publication, saying one of twice in the: U S in United States. You know that Critics of zoning reform are not split on Democratic Republic in lines. You know you don't see, I'm sort of people at the local level sorting in that way, even though we're seeing increasingly at the national level on the Democratic Party kind of unifying around that exclusionary zoning is causing a lot of power comes around racial segregation and economic segregation, then, of course, wages and and broader economic concerns. You can talk as to how it works. In the UK is a different there or there are they're kind of different leaders in in the Labour party. The conservative party, it is almost reversed-
UK, so both parties want to get more housing built. I would say, the Labour Party is probably more focused exclusively Social Housing Council housing. In the UK, the conservative party is more focused on housing built for people to end their very focused on the homeownership right about. He said of the voters in this country are humanist and because every party sees that is being its best interests continue. So we have this unfortunate kind of division on party lies between the type of tenure gets build, and that has been one thing that makes it harder to form cross ass? He coalitions to come. A very simple measures that would just me run housing down. All concerns have been in power for a large part of this. during that we're talking about here right. So so what what? What was gone wrong. Why have they been able to implement anything? They keep coming with us Europe's will set out under Margaret Thatcher, the Housing Minister and Nicholas really was,
usually enthusiastic about housing and by the way worthy, unbelievable thoughts about the english system is that the housing sector himself can call in an individual planning application, maiden random location in the country and decided for himself, and so yet he was doing ass. He was proposing how many towns in areas of conservative voters- and there was an immense backlash within the conservative party answer. Nobody would ever have, despite not factors anything other courageous, but even she blinked and replaced him with another housings. Actually, Chris Patten, who basically stepped back tomorrow, and almost none of these new towns or drought, as happens so say their endless examples within the conservatives and cells of when it really gets to the nitty gritty they just they just won't? They can't ran through large amounts of housing. Ok, so we have taken other brain. But when we get back we're in a talk about a few places around the world that have actually implemented
our proposals and some of the political difficulties that they run into either its Peter Kafka, and I wanted to tell you that we ve wrapper latest season of land of the giants. The Pike S explores the biggest most important tech companies our time. This time we looked at apple, covering the changes, computer, is and then change what a phone is I for his given apple tremendous power at the country to make compromises. It didn't expect apples,
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sure- and I should say that I am totally cannot recurrence. Are everything. I've read is more from second resources and were still we still learning lot both about what works in all about things that didn't work, but there was a law on joint redevelopment, eggs in the nineteen nineteen which designated areas of salt, mainly single story, housing, a single family houses or potentially development. If there was a vote seventy five percent of the home owners in that area voted for full redevelopment, and I should make clear that even the twenty five percent, who said no would think it forced out of their homes and we'll get a share of the resulting development. So in a way every case. They would make a significant financial profit, but they would lose the home they have been living in and that's completely different to those things were pressing here. It's just a mission and you can continue to settling using from him. If you want to go
Will you monsieur large golden cap, so the sitting the sitting yard the front yard for you, and so this was so successful it this in terms of getting more housing built. The Bayer essentially ran out new areas of single family? single story, housing that were eligible for it, but in the middle of the ninety nine teased, those one Europe take, they were responsible for more than fifty percent of the condos bills in the city of soul. So these are very large numbers in terms of impact on their driven by homeowners animals, in some cases voting by seventy five percent majority to pursue this kind of immense scale of change but its policies not still in place anymore right, it's pretty much different. Now, as I understand it was still digging into these acknowledge the history of that one of the problems with it was that it didn't have any the tenant protectionist it talks about. So it was landlords voting was intense and there were no real protection for tenants who were forced out of their customers.
they should guarantee every housing, and that would be completely unacceptable in any jurisdiction. I can think of so obviously can't take that scheme. The whole range of reasons and transparent wholesale review does demonstrate easy. Take that you can get, and I'm hold that there was enthusiasm in the media that the huge enthusiasm among homeowners. So it's a question of Catholics. Lying these things to get right reaction. He placed it. I've looked into that more is on an you ve written about this as well is Israel. They have this policy terms thirty eight and them where they shouted here? They, Alan Conny, who talked me through a lot of his policy and explain how it works and who worked on it on himself in TEL Aviv. So the something about this policy and- and you can kind of flesh out a little bit more for less but what it did, but that it wasn't framed as a housing production bill right what they saw in Israel was at you know, to address the problem of. They already had a lot of money Emily buildings and they need
renovation. I mean there's their strengths to earthquakes. There is, of course, security threats there and that new new buildings were getting these kind of missile proof rooms as well in in one, being redeveloped, and so there's lots. More than a financial incentive, those pushing people towards doing it, but what ends up happening of course- and not this in an article. You wrote that it and providing a ton of housing production because people would agree to have their building renovated. The developer would pay a lot of cost of even the rent and in many instances when they were displaced for a pair of time with their buildings being renovated and more units are being added or order apartments getting larger and it worked, but it seems, it seems, seems all but different in way they frame the issue in the there was understood to vote, or so what would you think about that The review is totally different and I think they were almost every surprised that big cart with an earthquake retrofitting measure that seven producer, huge man how they ve been five percent
of the new units in TEL Aviv last year. As I understand it, thirty five percent is an incredible increase in cities, housing production from just a single measure. I think Europe reasons why that obviously doesnt translate to U S or to an english experience directly. You say talking about multi, family buildings and again like and tell in soul. It was some people out of their homes. I think, will anyone suggesting that here and I think, if I'm not wrong in TEL Aviv, they were also in homer- is not tenants and again I don't works in the? U S warning wished context, but just don't, show ok. It was a little bit about the stick here, because the buildings would it not gonna, be complied with code, No, I didn't go ahead with these things, but there was also a large cat and abate. They took advantage of the economic potential of these buildings, to add more units and saved also to show what you can achieve that way. I think one of the things that was a drawback from the system is that, because I think
were not planning for this to become a massive housing production. A measure people are just agreeing to read it their buildings can a willy nilly and so in TEL Aviv at least you're seeing tons of construction happening and Zika. I know a great mass of quality of life issues when that occurs to me, do you kind of have safeguards built into that, UK proposal. You're absolutely I mean there's an eighty page report and not written by May, I hasten to add, which sets out in very impressed. These have all other protections for neighbours in relation to construction and congestion and making sure that you know you don't get parking difficulties, because this is what people complain about I think that it could be really vital if you want something- that's gonna last, his. As you say, construction. Is disruptive people dangerous, corrupt construction, but I also care about the end result, and so one of the ideas in England is that people can set out their plan the what the street should look like. They are want to reduce the setbacks, they will specify certain kind emphasizes that heights and again
Jackson Level, those height, so they don't affect the people and others treat set sail with very long wished. To take us, I think you'd have to make is workable, but if you do that, you can pretty much limit nearly all of the impact of this to a particular street there and their ends up being quite a bit a clash for municipalities in Israel as a result of this policy, do you felt this can be really good bye and from local governments in the UK, as well, well. I've got a lot of local governments about these kinds of ideas, and plenty of them will actually recognised. There are large areas of single family housing, major transit. down town where it will be really good to have more justification, but the politics of fats them are incredibly tough, so from their respective. If somebody else solve that problem, for them back. She could be quite an advantage and then, on the other side, the way this policy has been proposed. In England is that what we could develop a levy would be extended to these developments, so twenty percent
the value of the uplift from each developing, get paid directly to the municipal government and making and other infrastructure meeting other needs, and that's The huge sums, especially for English or thought, probably have small budgets new typical: U S local government I think this is a worrying things. That day, I think those under appreciated, sometimes in U S at least, is just that the vast majority eighty of irrelevant elected officials are not really themselves member. He's? They just don't see a political opportunity do not be numbers and either begging someone to to take the political head for their men to remove the ability- you tell me you talk to these people and their not. You know on the guard and allied times their dislike. You I mean if you would like it, that the state government could just just take this of my hands entirely. I would much prefer that because mean even it is
operation where you are with the local homeowners who are opposing change. You still have to be at these really unpleasant public meetings, all the time or get yelled at by constituents. If anything ever does actually get through or get past, and it's not a it's, not a sustainable metric for actually allowing for a sort of grows or change to occur, in these neighborhoods ye? I completely agree that the vast majority plan, as I know, went into planning to plan for things the planet. Housing and their immensely frustrated, in many cases that politics option from doing that. While I believe you cited in the american context, sort of Houston, and I and in one of your articles about this proposal in Houston's, not like the? U have street voting, but you do have a situation where you can opt out of debt. in joining regulations that they are able to sort of city wide legalised lower minimum lot size as you could build smaller homes rather than having to build very large single family homes and instead of just forcing everyone to do what they said. Okay, if you dont want to do this and in your area, you can just opt out of doing so. My my expectation hearing
story, was just that people had no idea what was going on so they did. They didn't think to opt out in a lot of cases and that's why I end up working, but do you know anything about how the Houston system worked and have you taken lessons from that in your in your own, in your own work and you get a mindset, is it that opt out mechanism? was one of the reasons why they were finally able to get the reduction, a minimum sizes through if it hadn't, if that it would be valid but if it is impossible to reduce man and not cited across the city, but also As I understand it, you still can opt out. If you want to have your street we block or a combination of those wants to opt out, and yet there are maps available showing that ass fractions. The city have not opted out the fact that even the most wealthy areas, reports which have been pockets which haven't, and Maybe those carrots actually are having an effect after all, because, as you are aware, the lot of low density, single family housing in he's getting
into town has a rather more dense last and that this is always the advantages to be gained. From that I'm in Houston is I used an indian sort of dream. In many cases in I had state paradise yeah. So what you go from your words of streamlining, photo going from your. How are you trying to get it implanted at this point? The government had essentially said that it was going to do shortly before it replaced the housing secretary for the backlash against all the other forms. A heat announced the previous year, and so we currently engaged in two the government again and still do- your coalition, we ve now go and fifteen mps from the ruling conservative parties pushing this measure and I think the new has is actually knows that we need to build one, and he is aware of the political challenges and I'm hoping that he will realise that crazy? he said we want more housing, is so unusual that that sort of political dying, I then it will be very helpful to him and getting more having built they wanted it
things Emmi! In! U s! We have different states that there's a lot of opportunity for experimentation, but am from where you are. It's kind of just you're either doing local level or you're doing the entire country, while think so much for coming on the weeds we enjoyed having you great. Thank you so much. That was also fun thing you two John Myers for coming on the show our producer, Sophie lawn, maybe Austin is our editorial adviser, Amber Hall the deputy editorial director for talk podcast and I'm your home Jerusalem Damn says, don't forget, on a four hour newsletter? It goes out every Friday, gotta, vocs, dot com, slash weeds letter to sign up the weeds is part. the box media podcast network guess replied is about,
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Transcript generated on 2021-10-29.