Cost of housing regulations reduce access (via

Cost of housing regulations reduce access (via

A Jan. 5 article on housing prices told us that the “Median price climbed nearly 14 percent in Thurston and more than 12 percent in Pierce County.”

That’s nice for the seller,s but what about the buyers and those who cannot afford housing in this market? What if the price of food was climbing this fast? We know the unemployment rate is pushing 7.5 percent and higher in many of the rural counties. Is there a relationship between the low inventory here and the lack of opportunities for work in those counties?

Economists across the political spectrum have mentioned the negative impact housing regulations have on local economies. A working paper that was published in 2015 noted that government land-use laws cost the nation about $1.5 trillion annually or $8775 per worker. I imagine much of that is going to pay housing costs and probably to out of state mortgage banks.

Buffalo, New York recently reduced their zoning regulations by 80 percent. What would the benefits be if Washington state and local governments did the same?

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– Michael H. Wilson, Tumwater