A modest solution to the housing problem

Everyone (all the cool kids, anyway) says more housing is the solution to high rents and the urban housing shortage. To be sure, it is “a” solution. I have an alternative solution. Compression. Putting more people in the same number of units. Seriously, we used to have a lot more people living in the same number of housing units, with even less floor space. As a typical example of US cities, the City of Minneapolis once (as recently as 1950) had over 500,000 people, now it’s just over 400,000, in about the same number of housing units.

Double, triple, quadruple up. Living room couches are unproductive resources when everyone’s in a bed. Share the same home as your parents and your grown children, it makes for great TV comedy.

Even more systematically, repeal theĀ Third Amendment to the United States Constitution, conscript the millennials (call it National Service) and post-millennials, declare a war against poverty, and quarter them in existing housing in neighborhoods which won’t build more!

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

If you don’t want more housing, love the housing you’re with, and stop mocking adult children living in the basement of their parents home. People aren’t going away just because you don’t build them houses.

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