The building moratorium in one of the Capital Region’s main housing markets is ending, while another is just beginning.
Karen Zito, president and CEO of the Home Builders Association of Greater Baton Rouge, hopes the building pause Livingston Parish enacted this month does not extend past the initial 60 days. Ascension Parish’s moratorium, enacted to give officials time to figure out how to manage frequent floods, lasted nine months.
Building moratoriums restrict housing supply, which helps to drive up prices, though it’s hard to say what impact local moratoriums have had because so many factors go into housing costs.
“A moratorium is not a solution,” Zito says. “Housing affordability is a national crisis.”
Zito says her organization supports efforts to address drainage and traffic and is serving as a resource for Livingston Parish officials. She says she hopes Livingston and other Capital Region markets allow for a range of housing options, such as townhomes, that still allow for the streetscape and feel of a single-family oriented neighborhood while maintaining open land for green space.
Livingston Parish previously has implemented a 2.5 unit-per-acre limit, which the builders’ association opposed, in favor of higher-density policies.
“You’re trying to get higher density to lower costs,” she says.