Construction workers do excavating for new homes April 20, 2021 on Holland Drive in Bloomington. Staff photo by Rich Jn=anzaruk
Construction workers do excavating for new homes April 20, 2021 on Holland Drive in Bloomington. Staff photo by Rich Jn=anzaruk
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the seventh installment in a multipart series on the local housing market.

The addition of more houses, including duplexes, should put downward pressure on prices, according to more than half a dozen economists and housing experts interviewed by The Herald-Times.

However, some academic research suggests upzoning, or allowing greater housing density, causes land prices to rise and displaces low-income earners.

Two Indiana University professors also warn tinkering with complex systems can produce unintended and potentially irreversible consequences.

The Bloomington City Council recently began public hearings on proposed local zoning changes, the most controversial of which would allow duplexes in many neighborhoods that in the past few decades have allowed only single-family homes.

Proponents of the zoning changes, including Mayor John Hamilton, city planning staff and some city council members, argue allowing people to turn single-family homes into duplexes will increase the local housing supply, which should lower prices and offer more people opportunities to buy a home. Proponents also say greater population density near the city center — rather than on the fringes or even farther away — also would reduce the city’s carbon footprint because more people could walk or bike to work, shops and restaurants.

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