Economic Liberty
Private Property
Zoning Justice Project

Housing Opportunities Made Easier (HOME) Act

Expanding Property Rights to Increase Home Building and Home Business Opportunities for All.

The housing shortage is problem that can be significantly solved with one change. Scholars, state legislators and municipal officials from different backgrounds agree that a crucial component to increasing supply is to reform zoning laws. When executed properly, these reforms also can increase home-based entrepreneurship.

Regrettably, numerous municipalities employ zoning ordinances that hinder new residences and home-based businesses. These actions often are motivated by protectionism and exclusion rather than health and safety. They slow progress rather than foster it.

It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Overzealous zoning laws limit the number of homes available for purchase or rent. They results in higher prices and rents, especially in areas with vibrant economies and abundant job opportunities.

Change is happening. In the past few years, numerous cities, and even whole states, have increased property rights and economic freedom. They’ve achieved these by simplifying the process of constructing new units and expanding their uses. Implementing these kinds of statewide reforms isn’t a top-down intrusion. Just as state legislators granted local governments zoning authority, legislators also have the responsibility to ensure that this power isn’t misused to stifle growth and entrepreneurship.

What Can State Legislators Do?

The Institute for Justice offers the Housing Opportunities Made Easier (HOME) Act as a model for state legislators who want more housing. This model bill:

  • Streamlines permitting processes for home building;
  • Prevents local governments from banning smaller, more affordable housing types;
  • Broadly legalizes safe and non-disruptive home-based businesses;
  • Requires any zoning law to have a real and substantial connection to public health and safety; and
  • Expands how private property owners can safely and non-disruptively use their residential property.