Why do so many affordable-housing advocates reject the law of supply and demand?

Housing prices are famously out of control in many cities — the average studio apartment in San Francisco goes for nearly $2,500 a month, more than $2,900 in Manhattan. This trend has inspired a movement called “YIMBY,” for “Yes in My Back Yard.”

YIMBYs push for reductions on zoning restrictions to increase the supply of housing, reasoning that all new housing, market-rate as well as subsidized, helps to keep housing prices under control.

“We should build more housing in every neighborhood — especially high-income neighborhoods,” reads the mission statement of the YIMBY Party, based in San Francisco. “… Increasing supply will lower prices for all and expand the number of people who can live in the Bay Area.”

The YIMBY movement has become popular enough to win some bipartisan support: Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson endorsed on Twitter a pro-YIMBY column by Bloomberg’s Noah Smith.

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Source: The Washington Post