Transparency Leading to Affordable Housing

[Editor’s note: Originally published as a Radar entry for members of the GEM.]

Public is a new demonstration website by CityBldr to show cities “how many additional people could be housed on all available public land within the city limits,” according to GeekWire. The data, covering 100 U.S. cities and 255 different zoning standards, “can show everything from land valuation, parcel size, current zoning, what currently is on the land, and how many people could be housed on the land under existing regulations.” The goal of the campaign is “to get corporations to sponsor affordable housing nonprofits in order to get full access to the complete data that could reveal anything from low-hanging housing fruit to the underpinning of a long-term housing plan”–at a cost of $10,000 per year per city/corporation.

What’s not to love here? Transparency into cities that have the power to increase housing with their own land resources, and equipping nonprofits with the same powerful software that Fortune 500 clients pay bookoo bucks for. I agree with Bryan Copley‘s assertion that this “can really help change the amount of housing available.” And, let’s be honest, $10k is less than pocket change to the likes of Microsoft, Costco, Google, or Amazon. If they don’t sell out of at least the top 50 cities in a matter of months, I’ll be shocked.

*Disclosure: I’m an investor in CityBldr.

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