Unintended Consequences

Tory Gattis has a post discussing proposed deed restrictions in a Houston neighborhood that would make it more difficult to build  multi-family housing (in this case mini-condo complexes) on existing lots, and instead allow only single-family dwellings. His point is that such restrictions are likely to have to effect of forcing middle-class families out and leading to ever-larger houses that drive up housing prices to the point where only the more affluent can afford to live there. Although I’m not an expert, I think that has largely been the result in central Austin, where similar restrictions on multi-family housing (in Austin through zoning) has led to ever increasing land values and larger homes to the point that a backlash led to the so-called McMansion ordinance. It’s very difficult for a middle-class family to afford a home in central Austin and is only likely to become more difficult in the future as a result of these exact same types of restrictions.


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