Abstract: This paper examines whether homeowner opposition to nearby housing development affects local councillors’ votes on housing bills. Homeowners benefit financially from restricted housing supply through increased housing prices. City councillors, who approve housing development applications, cater to the needs of homeowners who are often long-term resident voters with a financial stake in neighbourhood amenity levels. Using data from Toronto, Canada from 2009 to 2020, we identify housing bills through a machine learning algorithm. We find that councillors who represent more homeowners oppose more housing bills. In particular, councillors are significantly more likely to oppose large housing developments if the project is within their own ward.
Limin Fang, Nathan Stewart, Justin Tyndall, Homeowner politics and housing supply, Journal of Urban Economics, Volume 138, 2023, 103608, ISSN 0094-1190, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jue.2023.103608.