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Paul Krugman

Affordable-housing problem lies, in part, with government

Affordable-housing problem lies, in part, with government

It was a depressingly familiar sight: Rattled government officials — enlightened progressives all — in a desirable coastal city declaring an emergency over runaway homelessness and chronically expensive housing.

Yes, that city was Los Angeles, where last week Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to spend at least $100 million over the next year on housing and related services. But it was also Portland, Ore., where an exasperated Mayor Charlie Hales said, “We've tried slow-and-steady. We've tried by-the-book. It's time to add the tools we currently lack.”

In New York, those tools include a rent freeze on qualifying leases and a near-doubling of the legal aid...

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