Over the past five years, the average home price in Michigan increased by more than $100,000. Rental prices for homes and apartments have also skyrocketed. State and local lawmakers have been attempting to tackle the problem through tax breaks and subsidized housing, but the biggest piece of the puzzle has largely been missing from this conversation: Zoning reform.
Zoning is land-use restrictions placed on private property by the government. These rules limit where and what people can build. It may require larger houses, or fewer duplexes and apartments. It may mandate a certain number of parking spots, that all properties look similar, setback limits and other rules unrelated to public safety. Metro Detroit has some of the strictest zoning rules in the country.
Across the country, states and local governments have begun to take a second look at zoning reform ideas. This panel will discuss what Michigan lawmakers should consider to balance local concerns, private property rights and housing affordability.