Increase Housing Supply and Affordability via Zoning?

By. Neil Williamson, President

Over the better part of the last three years, Charlottesville affordable housing has been a part of every government discussion.  Some have suggested affordable housing policy concerns derailed the proposed Comprehensive Plan and form based code.

We were encouraged by the February 20th work session on affordable housing and we are thrilled to see buried in tonight’s Charlottesville City Council consent agenda, is a resolution that could, in time, dramatically increase the supply of affordable housing units.

image

If passed, and we expect it will be, the Planning Commission will be charged with developing the zoning text amendments  required to change the code regarding:

  • Affordable Housing Fund
  • Missing Middle Housing (duplex, triplex, etc.)
  • Accessory Dwelling Units by right
  • Affordable Dwelling Unit Ordinance

The Free Enterprise Forum is supportive of all of these concepts (and more) to increase the supply of affordable housing, but we know the devil is in the details.

Even with that caveat, we sincerely appreciate the city taking this step forward to reduce unnecessary regulatory barriers to affordable housing.

This community has spent a great deal of time and energy quantifying the need for affordable housing and talking about potential solutions.

This is not THE solution to housing affordability but it is a part of the solution.  Optimistically, I am reminded of Winston Churchill who famously stated:

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Based on our analysis, and dependent on the eventual enactment of the aforementioned zoning text amendments, we may look back at March, 2020 as the time we moved past affordable housing theory and started acting on these concepts.

NIMBY-sign-0411bAlternatively, these amendments may fall in the face citizen opposition or get mired down in Planning Commission pontification and minutia management.

Time will tell which path Charlottesville will choose..

Let’s get to work.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson, President

Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded non partisan public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and  Nelson County.  For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Photo Credit: Giphy.com, Charlottesville

One comment

  1. Thanks for the update and analysis. Mel

    On Mon, Mar 2, 2020 at 11:57 AM Free Enterprise Forum wrote:

    > neilswilliamson posted: “By. Neil Williamson, President Over the better > part of the last three years, Charlottesville affordable housing has been a > part of every government discussion. Some have suggested affordable > housing policy concerns derailed the proposed Comprehensive ” >

Leave a Reply to butch946 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s