The Brookings Institution created this excellent analysis examining the relationship between U.S. neighborhoods’ share of detached single-family homes and their demographic and economic characteristics to understand the potential impact of such zoning reforms. We present evidence that “if you build it, they will come,” and neighborhoods with more diverse housing inventory are in fact more racially diverse.
In this brief you’ll find evidence of the following findings:
- Single-family zoning is an opportunity hoarding mechanism.
- Single-family zoning is harmful to community well-being.
- Single-family zoning is expensive.
- Single-family zoning can heighten social exclusion and tensions.
- Single-family zoning manifests imbalances of power between neighborhoods.
- Detached single-family homes dominate most neighborhoods—even urban ones
- Neighborhoods with less diverse housing inventory tend to be less racially diverse—but only partly because of affordability
- White neighborhoods—the highest share of which are in the suburbs—have larger shares of single-family homes
- ENDING EXCLUSIONARY ZONING CAN UPLIFT PEOPLE, NEIGHBORHOODS, AND THE ENTIRE NATION