Housing complex

My guest is Sacramento State economics professor Rob Wassmer. Rob teaches in the public policy program at Sac State, and he’s director of the masters in Urban Land Development program.

Rob pitched a “cap and trade” style program for affordable housing. Local governments are required to identify a certain amount of land set aside for low income housing. But there are all sorts of reasons that housing often doesn’t get built. Rob thinks we could borrow some ideas from California’s cap and trade program for controlling greenhouse gases. I don’t know if it would work. But it highlights the fact that right now there is really no price for local governments that refuse shoulder their fair share of affordable housing.

This is an important problem. Just this week, another urban planning professor wrote in the Bee about it:

Rob of course thinks like an economist, he doesn’t think about this issue the way a neighborhood activist does, or a politician, or a housing advocate. So hopefully I pull in folks with other perspectives to flesh out a series on affordable housing.

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