Ms. Truss sued a few months later. The great irony is that no one was more disgruntled than Mr. O’Brien. He spent years and millions of dollars proposing two completely different projects. Now a group of activists whom he has never heard of is suing the city and, on his behalf, his original project – in essence, suing him.
It was an impossible task for Carla’s lawyer to persuade a judge that Lafayette had forced Mr. O’Brien to build 44 houses instead of 315 apartments, while Mr. O’Brien was sitting on the other side, No they didn’t. Carla lost, but after threatening to appeal, Mr O’Brien agreed to pay her legal fees. He now disputed both sides of the same case and paid for it.
Other cases continue. Members of Save Lafayette have sued to force a referendum Where residents can recover the 3-home plan and in the end they succeed. Mrs Truss and her comrades advanced to other wars and filed more lawsuits for more housing until the victory began. In the meantime, the movement he helped – YIMBY, yes in my back yard – turned International events, With supporters in dozens of housing-burden areas, including Seattle; Gravel, Colo .; Twenty-four; Austin, Texas; London And Vancouver.
‘Looking for people who still don’t live’
Development struggles are fought hyperlocally but problems are resonating everywhere. At the end of 2018, Minneapolis has become America’s first big city to effectively end single-family zoning. Oregon has since followed suit. California and New York have significantly expanded the amount of protection for tenants. And as more economists believe that a housing crisis could disproportionately hurt GDP, increase inequality and reduce opportunity, all candidates in the Democratic presidency had big housing proposals.
They drive this plan to bring in federal muscle, calling for more affordable housing funding for taxpayers to carry zone reforms from tax breaks. These ideas share a central contradiction: can city leaders – who theoretically know the local situation better – be convinced to create the housing we need? Or will they continue to follow a policy that increases property values, expands forever, and punishes low-income tenants?
Mr. Falk began his career with local control of the debate. But somewhere along the Deer Hill Odyssey he began to sympathize with his rebellious opponents. His son lived in San Francisco and paid for a living with a pile of roommates. His daughter is a New York choreographer, where the housing crisis was just as bad. His kids struggled with rent and it was hard to start thinking that Mrs. Truss had any say.
“I’m not sure if individual cities, putting them on their own device, are going to solve this,” he once told me. “They have little incentive to do so, because local voters are always going to protect their interests instead of looking for people who still don’t live there.”