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Few Mayors Connect the Dots Between Zoning and Homelessness

Chronic homelessness spiked about 15 percent from 2020 to 2022, yet seven in 10 mayors aren’t connecting the dots between zoning laws that stifle supply and people living on the streets, according to a new policy brief from the Initiative on Cities. There’s a direct correlation between cities with the most homelessness and the highest housing costs, yet only half of the nation’s 100 largest cities have a plan for addressing homelessness. Of those, only 30 percent mention land use and zoning. The National Zoning Atlas is building a data set to shed light on zoning laws that restrict construction and drive up prices, and HUD now has a grant program to incentivize zoning reform.

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