Burdensome local zoning regulations mandating larger minimum lot sizes are preventing property owners from properly responding to demands of the current housing market and are contributing to the housing affordability crisis.

Key points

  • Stricter minimum lot size requirements create less affordable housing.
  • Houston’s model of loose zoning regulation has led to high resilience to rising housing prices.
  • The city of Austin is considering the HOME initiative, which will address minimum lot size, housing density, and housing variety.
  • The Houston model is an example of what a statewide solution would look like.
  • Policymakers can take steps toward more affordable housing with less government.