A new proposed building code for the City of Des Moines has developers and builders concerned. They are not alone. I was at several of the meetings leading up to these code changes and I was one of many that raised concerns.
Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity President and Executive Director Lance Henning said this new building code or zoning ordinance would require developers to put in a basement and garage, one story homes would need to have 1,400 square feet of finished space and two-story homes would need to have 1,800 square feet of finished space.
"Quality housing is not dependent on square footage. It's not dependent on basements and it's not dependent on garages. Typically, the habitat homes are adding value at almost twice the average sale price of the neighborhoods on there and we don't meet those zoning code requirements," Henning said.
Citizens will build the best homes that they can afford, and builders will build homes that meet that demand. It is foolish to attempt to over-regulate this process and affordable housing will greatly suffer with too much interference in options.