Aye. although I'm not sure the present political economy will support changing this status quo - at least no openly. There are innumerous obstacles to adapting the great wide swaths of single detached
residential tracts ringfenced by single-use zoning and shackled by development rules that makes it effectively impossible to legally subdivide the properties (or structures themselves) into the subunits the market demands. Thus the price of housing goes up year after year.
I'm watching an adjacent, more affluent 'burb undergo an identity crisis over the issue of density
. Vast tracts of the city (I'd guess around half) are current and former ranchland waiting for those sweet offers from real estate developers, that once in a lifetime deal that catapults the family from middle class to upper class in a single transaction. The problem, the flaw in the diamond, the fly in the ointment is that the market for the >3,000ft² (~280m²) homes on >¼ acre (~0.10 ha) that the city desperately wishes to continue building has priced itself out of reach of prospective residents, thus hated multifamily
properties are what's being proposed. It was an issue in the municipal elections with a number of anti-density
candidates on the ballot; they may score some tactical victories but I expect economic forces will eventually prevail and the city will be forced to accept luxury apartments and condos as the cultural hologram of the white picket fence
There's also an unspoken reality of affordable housing: it's never new. Sure, a banner .gov initiative might get some fraction of the units in a high-publicity build in the likes of NYC committed to being nominally "affordable" but that's never enough units to make a dent in the market. The actual reality of affordable housing is that it's new housing many decades later
. All new-build apartment buildings are "luxury apartments" which over the decades may become mid-market and finally budget apartments as they age. In single detached suburbia the starter home
is all but extinct in new construction - zoning regulations have mandated it out of existence - thus the role has been delegated to the handfuls of older/smaller homes that have escaped rapid price inflation. And a lot of ... disallowed ... adaptation happens in the poorer parts of town that local government doesn't much care about - informal duplexes/triplexes, large sheds converted into ADUs
, RVs semi-permanently parked in backyards with umbilicals to the main structure, etc.