American voters were busy last week. Barraged by the drone of political noisemaking from people hoping to President, one can understand how the public might have missed big news in housing released by the current President’s administration. And it couldn’t be more relevant to Burlington.
The Obama Administration rolled out its “Housing Development Toolkit” which, as Curbed writer Alissa Walker summed, outlines “…successful methods for bringing housing back into American cities.”
The release coincided with an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle and an essay on Medium from White House Policy Council director Cecilia Munoz laying out the purpose and goals of the toolkit.
Munoz outlines the nuts and bolts of the toolkit but also opines on just what got us into the affordability crisis in so many communities:
“The American people have built an economy with stronger ladders of opportunity for all families to prosper. But despite these gains, too many of the communities with the most dynamic growth have pulled up those ladders behind them — often unintentionally — by creating conditions that make it impossible for families to find affordable housing in the same communities where they can find jobs. By allowing local rules that inhibit new housing development to accumulate, too many communities have limited their supply of housing over the last few decades in a way that undercuts economic mobility.”
Some more timely and tangible aspects of the toolkit include recommendations for the removal of off-street parking requirements for new development, allowing accessory dwelling units, and enacting high-density and multi-family zoning.