More states see zoning as lever to lower housing costs

This story was updated Jan. 30 to include news from California.


California state Sen. Scott Wiener has a simple explanation for the Golden State’s affordable housing crisis: “Decades of bad housing policy.”

The Democrat particularly blames cities’ longtime embrace of single-family zoning, which he says has contributed to a housing shortage that’s pushing up rents and home prices and encouraging sprawl. “It’s not sustainable,” Wiener recently told Stateline.

As state lawmakers look for ways to bring down housing costs, a growing number are taking aim at the American dream of a family home surrounded by a white picket fence.


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