Exclusionary zoning is the most important property rights issue of our time, a stifler of economic growth, and a major obstacle to opportunity for the poor and disadvantaged. While liberals, conservatives and libertarians all have compelling reasons to oppose it, there are also powerful NIMBY factions on both right and left defending it.
Despite daunting political obstacles, zoning reform has made some important progress in recent years. In an important new Mercatus Center study, housing policy experts Eli Kahn and Salim Furth survey the successes and failures of the last year. Here is an excerpt summarizing some of their conclusions:
In an article published six months ago, one of us flagged a “housing revolution brewing” among state legislatures in 2023.1 With over 200 bills related to housing supply introduced so far, there has certainly been no lack of would-be revolutionaries. And in four states—Montana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington—these efforts have clearly succeeded on a large scale. Elsewhere, results have been mixed. High-profile reform efforts sputtered in Arizona, Colorado, and New York. More quietly, significant reforms have been passed in several other states….
With half the year spent, most states have concluded their legislative sessions,…