In recent years, Minneapolis enacted a set of reforms making it easier to build multifamily housing. Tim Peach directed me to a blog post written by Matthew Maltman, which suggests the effects have been fairly dramatic:
Scott Alexander recently suggested that building more housing might actually boost housing prices, by making cities more dense. In a previous post, I used cross sectional evidence to cast doubt on that claim. Maltman’s post provides time series evidence that rents in Minneapolis have risen by substantially less than in other midwestern cities:
Another graph shows declining homelessness in Minneapolis, at a time homelessness was rising in comparable cities.
In contrast, housing construction plunged soon after St. Paul voters enacted rent control in 2021:
When it comes to construction of duplexes, triplexes and other forms of multi-family housing, St. Paul’s building permits plummeted by 48% last year  compared with the year before, according to HUD, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development.
Scott Alexander is correct that bigger cities are often more expensive. (Not always; compare Houston and Austin.) When a city grows rapidly because of a rapid increase in the number of people who wish to live there, housing costs often rise. Austin is a good example. But when the housing stock rises due to regulatory changes making it easier to build, housing prices tend to fall.
Never reason from a quantity change.
PS. After writing this post I noticed a Bloomberg piece that makes some similar points.
PPS. Matt Yglesias has an excellent post on the politics of YIMBYism.