Ed Glaser, Department Of Housing Urban Development, Red States discussed on Vox's The Weeds

Vox's The Weeds


Today this is all worth bringing up because we have some reforms in this regard coming in big cities and sort of push back against single family zoning and that is very there's a classic libertarian critique of zoning and worked on by ed glaser other bright of center people on this subject is the red states. Tend to have laxer land-use regimes but i mean jerusalem. I know you've covered a lot. That sort of bristol justice considerations. I think have motivated a lot of people in blue states and blue cities to rethink some of this and i do think historically least like that is correct. That's like the right way to look at the origin of these systems and potentially a good reason to look at revising them or pulling down. I think just pulling on the thread that you ended with last segments idea like what happens with nuisances and what happens with nuisance law in general and i think that the existence of this kind of case law leads to like absolutely absurd behavior of the story while back about how essentially there's the city maplewood missouri where they essentially said that you have to have like an occupancy permit in order to live in that place and if you don't you're not allowed to rent or own anything within the city limits and then they had another ordinance which basically was like this nuisance ordinance which basically qualified calling nine one one if you are a woman who is experiencing domestic violence also is a nuisance and so you would have people who were experiencing domestic violence calling the police and you would get your occupancy permit revoked and you would essentially be kicked out of town. You're not allowed to live not place legally and there's a lot of this being documented that desmond looks at this in wisconsin and you know he has an absolute absurd story. He finds where basically the conversation with nuisance is between the property owner and the city and the state. So what ends up happening. Is that the police. Contact the landlord and say hey. Your tenant keeps calling the cops because she has an abusive partner you to figure out a way to make the stop or you'll have to victor and the landlord replies in email to the city official. Yeah i advised her to get a and shoot him. she hasn't so i'm going to victor. And so when you have these types of nuisance laws is idea that like nuisances or anything. That could bother. Essentially upper middle class white homeowners that includes anything from i hear someone else is experiencing abuse to as matt points out parking lots and i think that a lot of these things are unintended consequences of a legal regime that prioritizes the slight irritations of wealthy and connected homeowners over general social welfare. And as as i mentioned. You're seeing a lot of this. Change be pushed by this hope for racial justice. it's happened in minneapolis. You're seeing in california. You're seeing this. in connecticut. And other states across the country you even see the council economic advisers at the white house and the department of housing urban development couch a lot of this language in racial justice language. And it's very clearly correct when you look at the historiographer that this is a massive racial dust issue but because it's become so encoded in how we view property rights. It's now a class issue. It's now agenda rights issue when you're looking at what's happening to victims investing violence. It has spiraled the point where there are so many ways to criminalize behavior to the point. Where the state has potentially reasonable justification for zoning out that nuisance. Yeah i mean. I it critique. The idea of unintended consequences a little bit. Because it's something that. I was thinking a lot about in prepping for this episode. Because like if you look at the macro history of decades before the civil rights act the supreme court said you can't do explicit racial segregation. But you can do facially neutral things that achieve the same ends and a bunch of jurisdiction said great will do just that like it casts. What happens after the passage of the civil rights. Act in a different light right because it means that we're not discovering for the first time that facially neutral laws as a successor to explicitly. Racist laws can perpetuate the exact same inequities like that is something that could have been visible at that point and so i think the further we go on the time machine the harder it is to not play hindsight game. I struggled with that with this episode. Just like i struggled with it with the last episode but it is at a certain point worth pointing out that like the facts on the ground. Were there at the time. And so what got strategically ignored. And what assumptions were being made on the part of the law's proponents that the tools they recruiting would be used in. Good faith or worth interrogating the other thing. That i think is important is like yeah okay. This specific consequences of any given nuisance. Ordinance might not be foreseeable at the time because you haven't created ordinance yet but it's generally true that who gets to decide is an implicit question of all public policy. Like you were saying you know earlier jerusalem that it kind of is incumbent on policymakers to think about what would this tool look like when wielded by people whose idea of the good or idea of what is in nuisance or whatever doesn't jibe with nine the problem is that especially at the local level. It's really hard to abstract the policy process to that degree because so often things happen because of a very committed group of citizens who are absolutely convinced that a problem is the most important problem. D their proposed solution will solve it that too abstract. Not just to the level of like how can we adjudicate between various stakeholders which is often the process by which policy gets made but also. How can we future-proof this so that it doesn't create massively skating. Unintended consequences for people whose definition of the good is different from ours. Like there is a certain extent to which that's a difficult thing to do but it also is a reasonable standard to hold policymakers to well and on the subject of unintended consequences. A few months ago. I was organic piece and i was ready to mention offhandedly that the post world war two crackdown on rooming houses in which widows are empty nesters would like rent out spare rooms in their place. I was gonna say that. This had these dire unintended consequences in increasing homelessness but the american citing planning officials has done this really nice thing that they should probably actually undo. Which is they post like. They're all documents up on their website and they're invariably horrifying and they have this nine hundred fifty seven report on like why said you should crack down on rooming houses. I think intellectuals like unintended consequences stories. And so i had this idea that it was like well. These were supposed to make living conditions better for the people living in rooming houses but it had the unintended consequence of pushing people onto the streets abbott. They actually just say look many rumors real down in out and the atmosphere of a rooming house in which they predominate is likely to be bleak and that hundreds of zoning ordinances have loopholes that permit group living arrangements and so they were just like encouraging cities to get rid of these down in adar's because they were just like bad people and you should get rid of them and if you don't have them living in your town your town's going to be better off and this even sense in which that's true right to darris point about who decides for some definition of down and auvers if you have some down and outer is living in your town that creates a challenge for your social service provision versus. If you have a rule that says that like only rich people can live in your town that makes life a lot easier for like your teachers and your school principals..

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