James C. Makens: Affordable illusion
December 24, 2006
All attempts by government to replace the efficiency of the marketplace in the allocation of housing will ultimately fail. Buyers determine what prices are affordable, not government. If prices reach too high a level, housing inventories will swell and prices will decline to meet available demand.
This process does not, nor should it, ensure that everyone who wishes to live in a community can do so. Throughout the world, millions of people commute to their workplace daily. Not everyone can live precisely where they wish. The necessity to commute brings life and vibrancy to second-choice communities.
Government has many legitimate responsibilities to a community, but dabbling in the free market in an attempt to ensure a fleeting and unattainable goal known as affordable housing is not one of them.
James C. Makens