I’m much in agreement with you on the need for further efficiencies given the cost of labor and materials these days. However, I’m concerned that the rush to affordability might sacrifice appreciation in a country that has always been so hell-bent on increasing the rate of home ownership and realizing its benefits (i.e. as a vehicle for building wealth). If we make 100,000 of the same item inexpensively (even something so necessary as shelter), won’t each unit become less valuable over its life cycle than a home valued for its scarcity? It seems we either need to change our policies which currently emphasize home ownership AND seek innovation in prefab manufacturing of houses OR develop better methods for designing and building stick-built housing while keeping the policies.
As for zoning requirements and their harmful effects on affordability, I’m in total agreement. Get ’em out of here.