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Snob Zones

by Lisa Prevost

An exploration of the corrosive effects of overpriced housing, exclusionary zoning, and the flight of the younger population in the Northeast As anyone of moderate income who has wanted to buy a house or condo in the Northeast knows, young couples and families are increasingly being priced out of the market. And the housing crisis only drove up rents. As a result, young people are leaving the region entirely: six northeastern states now rank among the top ten nationally in age of their residents. In Snob Zones, Lisa Prevost argues that rising housing costs and a huge increase in restrictive zoning laws are undermining the very notion of community. Prevost illustrates this issue with eye-opening stories that illustrate the outrageous lengths to which towns will go to exclude the less affluent. She takes readers from notoriously upper-crust Darien, Connecticut, to a rural second-home town that is so restrictive its celebrity residents may soon outnumber its children and a northern lake community that brazenly deems itself out of bounds for apartment dwellers. This "every town for itself" mentality is threatening the social health and economic vitality of the region, argues Prevost in this thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be a community in post-recession America.

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