Publications

  • Author: Vicki Been ×
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  • The High Cost of Segregation: Exploring Racial Disparities in High-Cost Lending

    This article argues that policy makers addressing racial disparities in the share of subprime mortgages must take into account the relationship between existing levels of racial segregation and the racial disparities in the types of mortgages homeowners received. The authors examine approximately 200 metropolitan areas across the country and note the significant racial disparities in the percentage of subprime mortgages received by different racial groups. Various mechanisms that explain these racial disparities are also explored. The authors ultimately conclude that residential segregation plays a significant role in shaping lending patterns.

  • The Effects of Inclusionary Zoning on Local Housing Markets

    This study evaluates the impact of Inclusionary Zoning policies on housing markets in the San Francisco, Washington D.C. and suburban Boston areas. The analysis provides local decision-makers with valuable evidence on the impacts of IZ—a popular but often-controversial affordable housing policy.  The policy brief includes an update from February 2010, summarizing additional research that has been completed since the original publication in March, 2008.

  • The Effects of Inclusionary Zoning on Local Housing Markets

    Many local governments in metropolitan areas with high housing costs are adopting inclusionary zoning (IZ) as a means of producing housing that is affordable to low- and moderate-income households without direct public subsidies. Critics charge that IZ ordinances impose additional costs on new development and may lead to reductions in supply and increases in the price of market rate housing. Advocates of IZ argue that any negative effects IZ might have on production can be mitigated through density bonuses or other cost offsets. Rigorous empirical study of the effects of inclusionary zoning ordinances has been hampered by the lack of accurate, timely data describing IZ and the land use regulatory schemes in which IZ programs fit. In this paper, we use panel data on the adoption and characteristics of IZ in the San Francisco and Washington DC metropolitan areas and the Boston-area suburbs to analyze which jurisdictions adopt IZ, how much affordable housing the programs produce and the effects of IZ on the prices and production of market-rate housing. The IZ programs among our sample jurisdictions are complex policies and exhibit considerable variation in their design, particularly across the three regions. We find that larger, more highly educated jurisdictions and those surrounded by more neighbors with IZ are more likely to adopt IZ. Whether and how many affordable units are produced under IZ depends primarily on the length of time IZ has been in place. The results from Boston-area suburbs provide some evidence that IZ has contributed to increased housing prices and lower rates of housing production. There is no evidence that IZ has constrained supply or increased prices among Bay Area jurisdictions. Limitations on the availability and quality of our data suggest that our results should be interpreted cautiously, but also suggest that IZ programs should be designed cautiously to mitigate possible negative impacts on housing supply.

  • The Effect of Community Gardens on Neighboring Property Values

    Cities across the United States that have considerable vacant land are debating whether to foster community gardens on that land, while cities with land shortages are debating when to replace gardens with other uses. Meanwhile, many cities are looking for new ways to finance green spaces. Little empirical evidence about the neighborhood impacts of community gardens is available, however, to inform the debate or to help cities design financing schemes. This paper estimates the impact of community gardens on neighborhood property values, using rich data for New York City and a difference-in-difference specification of a hedonic regression model. We find that gardens have significant positive effects, especially in the poorest neighborhoods. Higher quality gardens have the greatest positive impact.

  • Land Use Controls: Cases and Materials (Third Edition)

    A thematic framework that reveals the connections among the multiple discrete topics under land law, with attention to the factual and political context of the cases and the aftermath of decisions

  • Impact Fees and Housing Affordability

    The increasing use of impact fees and the costs that they may add to the development process raises serious concerns about the effect using impact fees to fund infrastructure will have on the affordability of housing.

  • Lucas vs. The Green Machine

    This title provides a law student with an enriched understanding of twelve leading property cases. It focuses on how lawyers, judges, and policy factors shaped the litigation, and why the cases have attained noteworthy status. The volume is suitable for adoption as a supplement in a first-year property course, or as a text for an advanced seminar.