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The City of Corcoran planned to use building permit fees to finance its city hall renovation

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking to a local city council about the obstacles to the construction of affordable housing which state and local governments erect in terms of in terms of taxes, fees, and regulations. According to a report from the Housing Affordability Institute, some localities are using these fees, which are meant to be for services rendered, to pad their general funds. I referred to the example of the city of Corcoran, which had been reported as using building permit fees to finance a city hall renovation. This, according to one of those present, was "a lie". Well,...

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Evidence from San Francisco shows that rent control makes income inequality worse

Surely, when San Francisco's politicians passed rent control laws they didn't intend to increase income inequality in the city. But that is what happened. Once again, we see the truth of Milton Friedman's old saying: “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results”...

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Affordable housing is rare because it’s illegal to build

Excessive fees and regulations are the problem – high prices are just the symptom. We need the supply of housing to expand. Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars dealing with the symptoms, our policymakers must remove the barriers to the construction of affordable housing – barriers which, in many cases, they are responsible for erecting....

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Nobody Home at St. Paul Mayor Carter’s Rental Property

There goes the neighborhood. The last thing anyone wants on their block is an empty house. In fact, the city of St. Paul  has a what to do about a "Vacant Building" page on its website with instructions for reporting unoccupied or abandoned properties  for inspection. The City monitors vacant buildings to see if they are secured, if they are being rehabilitated, or if they should be torn down. If a building is not secured, the inspector can order the owner to secure it. In addition, if necessary, the City can board-up and secure the building. But what if the rundown property...

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Why aren’t contractors building more starter homes? Excessive fees imposed by state and local politicians

State and local governments have caused the shortage of affordable housing in the Twin Cities. Now, they are looking at policies such as subsidies and rent controls to solve the problem they created. The answer to a problem created by fees and regulations is not more fees and regulations. ...

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