Industry News

Laws artificially drive up real estate costs

HUD report takes issue with 'smart growth,' impact fees

A new report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that excessive regulations are artificially driving up the cost of housing and forcing workers to commute long distances and live in substandard or overcrowded housing. HUD's study, "Why Not in Our Community?" examined the impact of regulatory barriers on affordable housing and found that outdated, exclusionary and unnecessary regulations continue to block the construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing in some parts of America. "Why Not in Our Community?" also found that many communities are actively removing these barriers and promoting the production of housing that was formerly beyond the reach of many working families. HUD's report points to a number of trends in today's housing market: Complex environmental regulations can significantly increase the length and cost of home-building review and approval processes; "Smart growth" principles can be misused to justify limiting affordabl...