Housing Crisis: Should Urban Areas Grow Up or Grow Out to Keep Housing Affordable?

Policy Forum
November 29, 2016
12:00PM to 1:30PM
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute
Featuring Emily Hamilton, Policy Research Manager, Mercatus Center; Gerrit Knaap, Professor of Urban Studies and Executive Director of the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, University of Maryland; and Randal O’Toole, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; moderated by Vanessa Calder, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute.

Housing prices are rapidly climbing in many American urban areas, pushing low-income and sometimes even middle-income people out of rental and home buying markets. American homeownership rates have fallen to the lowest levels since 1965, increasing wealth inequality and reducing productivity.

Should urban areas respond to this affordability crisis by “growing up,” that is, building higher densities in the existing urban footprint as recommended by a recent White House policy paper? Or should they “grow out,” that is, build more developments at market densities at the urban fringe? Join three housing policy experts in a discussion of this question that is critical to the future of American cities.