The Urban Housing Crisis Is a Test for Progressive Politics

April 18, 2018

Opponents of allowing more dense housing construction associate the solution with gentrification, but this gets the question backwards. Gentrification is the result of artificially constricted housing supply, which pushes the demand for new housing into poorer neighborhoods, where new entrants outbid existing renters. Rampant gentrification is what happens when yuppies win a zero-sum competition for housing. Expanding the supply of housing allows people to move in to cities without displacing existing residents. The simple Econ 101 model of supply and demand does not solve every problem, but it does solve this one.