COVID-19, racial inequity, housing insecurity, and climate change have come together to create widespread, large-scale crises. This Article introduces these four pandemics and describes in detail what local governments are doing to combat one of them: housing insecurity. It reviews recent progress with traditional inclusionary zoning requirements, discusses the move toward greater density in single-family zoning, lists strategies being used to remediate distressed housing, and notes the importance of affordable housing as a necessary strategy for preventing lower-income household displacement caused by gentrification. The reciprocal impacts of these four pandemics are clear; local land use leaders should examine how mitigating one issue can ameliorate the others. The critical public health threat of these four pandemics is a central concern for local leaders—they are called upon to react quickly to issues that move slowly through the state and federal policy reform processes. Local engagement with these problems and local need for technical and financial support put positive pressure on officials at higher governmental levels to respond more quickly to these pressing concerns.
John R. Nolon, Pandemics and Housing Insecurity: A Blueprint for Land Use Law Reform, 46 Vt. L. Rev. 422 (2022), https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/1224/.