More Housing, More Affordability

A few days ago, an online petition was initiated to try to encourage decision-makers to preserve the surrounding areas of our campus. Petitioners are making the claim that the increase in housing developments around campus are destroying local businesses and raising the housing prices, making them “unaffordable.” They see this rise of housing supply as a threat to the community and the history of the city.
The idea that an increase in the development of luxury apartments decreases the affordability of living in the neighborhood is a common fallacy. It is not a secret that the lower the availability of apartments in an area, the higher the prices will be. A perfect example of a housing shortage is San Francisco. San Francisco is the most expensive city to live in America, so there are constant ballot initiatives regarding the housing market. As Benjamin Powell stated in his article “Increase Housing Supply To Increase Affordability” published in, “Economics is a science that informs our understanding of trade-offs. Many people in the Bay Area enjoy its natural beauty and open spaces. They do not like how unaffordable the region has become. But that’s the trade-off they face. Government restrictions on new home building to preserve open space and limit density simultaneously drive up housing prices and make the region unaffordable for many people.”
Advocates of government restriction fail to acknowledge the trade-off that comes with this mindset. They want an affordable housing market but at the same time, they refuse to see an increase in the supply of homes, and that is the problem. This situation is much like a zero-sum game, a situation where what one side gains the other side loses. When you are analyzing the economics side of a situation, you must take into consideration that you study the way things are, not the way you wish things were. That includes detaching yourself from any emotional attainment you have with that specific product (or in this case, neighborhood).
Rather than sit and outcry that is impacting our environment in a negative way, let’s see it from the other perspective. This increase in housing developments around the university means there is a high demand for these residences and satisfying this demand is the right thing to do.
If we are going to analyze events based off of our emotional reactions, we will not progress much as a civilization. In our fast-paced world, things are constantly evolving and becoming more adapt to our current environments. Under this notion of preventing new developments from being constructed in the neighborhood, when will it evolve to meet the high-demand for incoming residents?

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