What is the best solution to the housing crisis?

I live in Portland, Maine. We are experiencing a massive housing shortage, and I know we are not the only city in this situation. What can actually be done about it?
Here, there have been developers who were interested in building more housing at affordable to moderate prices. Existing property owners shut down every proposal.

How are property owners making these decisions and not the city council? Surely that’s who has the power to get this moving forward!

Any cite to the supposed existence of a housing shortage? Affecting some specific locations? At specific price points?

Just pulled up my town on Realtor.com, and see a bunch of homes for sale in my suburb (of Chicago) ranging from $200k to over a million. And my niece just moved into an apartment a town or 2 over with plenty of options.

What reasons did they give?

What is “affordable to moderate” pricing in the neighborhoods that the developers want to build? Normally land prices will determine what price point houses are being built at.

Here is my cite

A major problem is city regulations. For example look at minimum lot size. If you look at the old parts of town you will see houses built on very small lots. These are prohibited in newer parts of town. Or if you look you will find manufactured housing (traditionally mobile homes–but new ones are often not mobile) banned in lots of places. And the city is also adding on all kinds of impact fees for new housing.

It’s only a problem if you think people should be able to live wherever they want, regardless of the cost. I’m sure that at a certain price, there is no housing crisis.

Yeah - sounds heartless, but you can always move to a different region of the country, or accept a longer commute.

Having said that, I wish more communities would do more to encourage higher density affordable housing.

So, basically an editorial by the head of a think tank whose mission is to “promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise; limited, constitutional government; individual freedom; and traditional American values”, as long as those individual freedoms don’t involve not wanting the character of your city degraded by increased development?

I’m sure that eventually enough graft money will be distributed to allow developers to build their condos and apartments which will then become empty shells after the next real estate implosion.

Stopping immigration.

I see. This clown probably thinks Bush was a great president since there were plenty of houses available by the end of his term.
Not to mention plenty of middle class homeowners benefit from increased housing prices. It isn’t just the rich.

That’s one person’s opinion, not a factual cite.

If existing property owners are shutting down every proposal then the developers need to offer more money. What’s that? They can’t build cheap housing if they pay what the property owners want? Well then that area is not a good candidate for cheap housing.

Or are you saying that existing property owners in the general area are against cheap housing because it would be bad for their own property values?

We recently had some low income rental housing builts a few towns over (in the suburbs that basically just means a few exits down the beltway) and the area has become congested, crime ridden, and poorly maintained (tragedy of the commons). On the plus side there is a lot more commercial development but the folks who lived there have all suffered a decline in property values.

A quick search on Zillow seems to indicate there are plenty of houses for sale in the Portland Maine area pretty much all over the place and at a variety of price ranges (just a quick survey shows houses from $133k to over a million, though the butter zone seems to be in the $200k-$400k range). So…not seeing a ‘massive housing shortage’, to be honest. Looking at apartment finder also indicates there are plenty of rentals available (I didn’t bother looking for housing rentals, as I’m not seeing anything like a ‘massive housing shortage’ on even a cursory search).

What I THINK you are meaning is why can’t we force places like Portland to build a bunch of cheap housing so that anyone can live there, even if they can’t afford the above range, and that the ‘massive housing shortage’ you actually mean is the one for a large number of very low end housing. Correct?

Massive increases in rent subsidies … even if we have to defund all the other social safety nets to do so. If there’s one thing these old eyes have seen over these ancient of years is that stable housing is the beginning of financial prosperity. If you’re homeless, you can’t get a job; if you don’t have a job, no one will rent to you.

$50 million to build an apartment complex is extremely risky … but if government guaranties rent for each unit for twenty years, that risk is substantially reduced … thus far far more people will be putting that $50m up … and more housing will be available.

Just give the money to the landlords … we as a society can trust them to do the right thing.

People actually being able to make their own decisions about where to live and what to do with their own property? The horror. The next thing you know poor people and other people of other ethnicities will move in.

Of course strictly speaking there isn’t a ‘shortage’ of anything for those able and wiling to pay the going price, and always a shortage for those who can’t.

But some municipalities definitely drive up the cost of housing with zoning rules. Others, mainly a few very big ones, drive it up with rent control, which has that effect eventually on average.

The ‘solution’ to those two problems is probably only to live somewhere that has policies which result in lower market rates for new housing. This does vary a lot, and according to zoning policies, not just the general attractiveness of the locale.

If OTOH the question is really, ‘how to provide housing at a certain minimum level (probably a pretty generous one) to people who don’t make enough money to pay the real cost’, it’s a pretty different question, and a much bigger one.

Take away the ability of nearby property owners to use force, through government or otherwise, to control the actions of property owners who wish to build dwellings.