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Prospects for Progress on Affordable Housing Solutions

UCLA Luskin’s Michael Lens spoke to the podcast Health Affairs This Week about the roots of zoning policies that have kept neighborhoods segregated by race and income, and the prospects for progress in addressing the nation’s affordable housing crisis. Efforts to change zoning laws to accommodate more housing units have historically been met with strong resistance, but Lens said the conversation has shifted just in the last decade. Now, there is widespread acknowledgment that “we need to do something somewhere” to provide residents with safe and affordable shelter. “The problem is that we have let this go on for so long, this lack of housing production and increased housing costs for people from the poor to middle class,” he said. But Lens pointed to states and cities that are upending zoning restrictions that have long kept a lid on housing development, and concluded, “This is a really good time for hope.”


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