At this point I’m convinced that nothing about the moral aspects of property values, cost of living, and the alleged right to never have your neighborhood change will ever make sense in any degree whatsoever.
So, what if the only way to change density enough to reduce housing costs enough to matter was systematic use of Eminent Domain to seize houses to demolish and rebuild?
If that’s an efficient use of resources, you don’t have to use Eminent Domain, you can just buy the houses. One large-ish house in the city can easily give way to a four-family quadplex if the zoning allows this which it rarely does.
Eminent domain is a useful tool for solving market failure, but maybe start by trying to solve them by removing the ban on the thing you want more of.
There are a few possible reasons for this. People don’t like to sell their houses often, or in blocks, so it’s going to be very slow. With de-zoning, you run the risk of turning “thriving city” into “slum.” There’s possibly a reason these heavily zoned cities are the really productive places. Part of the thing this is meant to deal with is basically that because of the economies of cities, building housing can actually increase housing prices because it increases demand as well unless you seriously build a lot at once.
None of these are certain, but I’d like to know if people are serious about the housing crisis or just ideologically committed to deregulation. It’s often not that simple.
EDIT: Here’s something I’ve referred to before, saying among other things that redevelopment of a city will not occur at a fast enough rate to relieve pressure, even absent zoning regulation.
But you’re going to be re-zoning anyway if you’re doing eminent-domain + denser housing. Maybe just re-zone first, then wait five years before doing any eminent domain.