Upzoning Won’t End Single-Family Housing, Lens Says

Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy Michael Lens was featured in a Star Tribune article about how zoning affects housing affordability. Many advocates for racial equity and housing affordability are pushing cities across the country to remove zoning requirements that restrict areas to single-family housing only. In some cases, they have been met with opposition from those who fear that removing these requirements would result in the destruction of single-family neighborhoods. Lens pointed out that upzoning does not require the addition of duplexes and triplexes but merely removes a long-standing prohibition and gives landowners more flexibility. “Ending single-family zoning doesn’t end single-family housing, and there’s no real reason why we prioritize single-family housing in such a way,” he said. “You can’t have true integration of race and income without a variety of housing types.”


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