Government to blame for lack of affordable housing

May 22nd, 2018 by Ken

There are several reasons that housing in Thurston County is scarce and costly and many of them are the direct result of government rules and regulations.

It’s estimated by many, that government rules add $35,000 to the cost of every new home built.

Start with zoning.   When government zones property it determines what can go where.  In the process it raises the cost of land available for housing.Restricting housing in the rural areas and forcing it to go into urban areas makes the price of urban property more costly.  And, when urban residents fight the building of new homes in their neighborhoods, the delay raises the price of the property even more.

Government delay in approving building permits also raises the price of housing as builders have to pay banks and financial institutions interest while they wait to gain approval.

Government requirements for construction also adds to the cost.  Recently a friend of mine converted a free-standing garage on his property to a one-bedroom apartment.  The City of Olympia required the installation of a sprinkler system.  This added nearly $5000 to the cost.

But, it’s not only new housing or renovations that are costly.

Over the past 20 years, government has systematically destroyed sub-standard housing that was used by the poor.  Housing that didn’t meet new city codes has been torn down.  Some sold to developers to build new houses that the poor can’t afford.  Government has also restricted and removed trailer parks, traditionally a source of housing for the poor.

There are a many at fault for the lack of affordable housing, but the main villain is government.

Posted in Government, The Real News

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