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More Federal Legislation to Tackle Housing Affordability Proposed

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has introduced legislation that would tie federal funding to pro-development policies at the local level.
August 6, 2018, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Julie Clopper

Richard Kahlenberg reports that Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has a "big idea" about reining in exclusionary zoning.

According to Kahlenberg, Senator Booker "says bad zoning laws are making housing more segregated and less affordable, and he has just introduced legislation to do something about it."

Toward that end, Senator Booker recently introduced the Housing, Opportunity, Mobility and Equity (HOME) Act, "to address this key piece of the Fair Housing Act’s unfinished business."

"The bill would promote more inclusive zoning policies in order to make housing more affordable and less segregated," explains Kahlenberg.

Under Booker’s proposal, states, cities and counties receiving funding under the $3.3 billion federal Community Development Block Grant program for public infrastructure and housing would be required to develop strategies to reduce barriers to housing development and increase the supply of housing. Plans could include authorizing more high density and multifamily zoning and relaxing lot size restrictions. The goal is for affordable housing units to comprise not less than 20 percent of new housing stock.

The article includes a lot more context for the legislative proposal, including anecdotes from Senator Booker's personal history. The legislation is the latest attempt by congressional Democrats to tackle the national crisis caused by the high cost of housing. Recently, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced legislation that would offer a tax break to qualified renters.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, August 2, 2018 in The American Prospect
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