I’m excited to announce that last week I signed papers on a deal to publish a relatively short relatively cheap e-book with Simon & Schuster. The working title is THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH and the subject is the exciting and under-discussed world of housing policy. To get the full argument you will, of course, need to buy the thing, but the basic idea is to make the case that pathological elements of our housing policy that increase the cost of living in desirable neighborhoods of key metropolitan areas are an underrated of America’s economic and social problems. Longtime readers will be familiar with the general shape of my thinking on this issue, but the ideas are going to be laid out in a more systematic way with a much more comprehensive look at how it all fits together and what levers might exist to make the rent less damn high.
The projected length will be something in the 15,000–20,000 word range with a price point commensurate to the relatively short length, and it should be available in a variety of formats. I’m excited about this project both because I’m invested in the issue and because I’m glad to be able to innovate a bit with format. I’ve felt for years that I have more to say about this subject than can fit into a magazine article, but didn’t want to write a book full of filler, and I’m thrilled that Simon & Schuster’s going to give me the chance to do that. At any rate, in the interests of actually finishing the project and building your enthusiasm for it, I’m going to try to restrain myself from writing about housing and urban planning for a bit now until we’re actually ready to release the thing.