California: Don’t Leave America. Bring America To Us.

The Abundant Housing LA team worked on this editorial in response to the #CalExit push for secession from the U.S. Our pitch:

“We at Abundant Housing LA have a counter-proposal, one we think is both more hopeful and more plausible: Instead of leaving America behind, we should bring America to us. Our state attracts people of all races and ethnicities, genders and sexual identities, faiths and cultures. It’s something we’ve long celebrated, and rightly so. Rather than parting ways with the United States, let’s dial that welcoming attitude into overdrive. Let’s be radically inclusive. Let us be a refuge, a 21st century Ellis Island, for internal and external refugees alike.”

Read more here.

 


What Happens When A City Finds Its Voice?

What Happens When A City Finds Its Voice? via The Urban Developer

“Can you imagine a city where the silent majority find their voices and cry out ‘just build!’?

Well according to Wolter Consulting Group (WCG) Director Natalie Rayment it’s not just a dream.

Natalie recently attended the world’s first YIMBY conference with WCG senior planner, Mia Hickey, in Boulder Colorado and there is no doubt they are excited by what they have seen.

‘There is a ground swell of urban activists with exactly this pro-housing, pro-density, pro-development message sweeping the globe,’ Natalie said.

‘Yes, in my backyard or YIMBY, is gaining momentum across the world as we saw at the YIMBY conference.'”


How Anti-Growth Sentiment, Reflected in Zoning Laws, Thwarts Equality

How Anti-Growth Sentiment, Reflected in Zoning Laws, Thwarts Equality via New York Times

“To most people, zoning and land-use regulations might conjure up little more than images of late-night City Council meetings full of gadflies and minutiae. But these laws go a long way toward determining some fundamental aspects of life: what American neighborhoods look like, who gets to live where and what schools their children attend.

And when zoning laws get out of hand, economists say, the damage to the American economy and society can be profound. Studies have shown that laws aimed at things like “maintaining neighborhood character” or limiting how many unrelated people can live together in the same house contribute to racial segregation and deeper class disparities. They also exacerbate inequality by restricting the housing supply in places where demand is greatest.”


YIMBY Groups Are Organizing Across the US to Make Cities Build More Housing

YIMBY Groups Are Organizing Across the US to Make Cities Build More Housing via Gizmodo

“Today Ms. Trauss’s group is one of several pro-housing organizations (GrowSF and East Bay Forward are others) that represent a kind of “Yimby” party, built on the frustrations of young professionals who feel priced out of the Bay Area. BARF has won the backing of technology millionaires — Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and chief executive of Yelp, is the group’s largest individual donor — and the encouragement of local politicians.”


Years of Defying State Affordable Housing Law Gets Encinitas Sued, Again

Years of Defying State Affordable Housing Law Gets Encinitas Sued, Again via Voice of San Diego

“The state’s density bonus law allows private developers to build more homes on a property than city restrictions allow if they agree to build some low-income homes in their project. Encinitas residents want to rein in growth, and city leaders have routinely said finding ways to disobey the law is one of their top priorities.”


Top 7 Reasons to Oppose the Los Angeles Neighborhood Integrity Initiative

Top 7 Reasons to Oppose the Los Angeles Neighborhood Integrity Initiative via Better Institutions

“Opponents, like myself, argue that passage of the NII will be a catastrophe for the future of the city: New housing is the only thing keeping rents from growing even faster, and anti-development advocates are making a grievous error when they view new luxury housing as a cause of rising prices, rather than a symptom of them. It will throw the baby out with the bathwater, leaving us with fewer low-income units and more expensive housing for every other resident of LA. Opponents also view the NII as a fundamentally pessimistic initiative—one which essentially asserts that Los Angeles’ best days are long-since past. “


Why the ‘Neighborhood Integrity Initiative’ would worsen L.A.’s affordability crisis

Why the ‘Neighborhood Integrity Initiative’ would worsen L.A.’s affordability crisis via LA Times

“But a moratorium on development would hurt anyone who hasn’t yet put down roots, including those struggling to pay rent in this increasingly pricey city. This should be obvious, but apparently it’s not: Without new development the price of housing skyrockets. Restrictive zoning keeps rents high or, in a city experiencing significant population growth, raises them. That’s supply and demand.”


Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing

Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing vis Legislative Analyst’s Office

“In this follow up to California’s High Housing Costs, we offer additional evidence that facilitating more private housing development in the state’s coastal urban communities would help make housing more affordable for low-income Californians. Existing affordable housing programs assist only a small proportion of low-income Californians. Most low-income Californians receive little or no assistance. Expanding affordable housing programs to help these households likely would be extremely challenging and prohibitively expensive. It may be best to focus these programs on Californians with more specialized housing needs—such as homeless individuals and families or persons with significant physical and mental health challenges. Encouraging additional private housing construction can help the many low-income Californians who do not receive assistance. Considerable evidence suggests that construction of market-rate housing reduces housing costs for low-income households and, consequently, helps to mitigate displacement in many cases. Bringing about more private home building, however, would be no easy task, requiring state and local policy makers to confront very challenging issues and taking many years to come to fruition. Despite these difficulties, these efforts could provide significant widespread benefits: lower housing costs for millions of Californians. “


California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences

California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences via Legislative Analyst’s Office

“Living in decent, affordable, and reasonably located housing is vitally important to every Californian. Unfortunately, housing in California is extremely expensive and, as a result, many households are forced to make serious trade-offs in order to live here. While many factors have a role in driving California’s high housing costs, the most important is the significant shortage of housing in the state’s highly coveted coastal communities. We advise the Legislature to address this housing shortfall by changing policies to facilitate significantly more private home and apartment building in California’s coastal urban communities.”

 


How Building Expensive New Housing Actually Helps Create More Affordable Cities

How Building Expensive New Housing Actually Helps Create More Affordable Cities via Gizmodo

“In tight markets, poor and middle­-class households are forced to compete with one another for scarce homes. So new market-rate housing eases that competition, even if the poor are not the ones living in it. Over time, new housing also filters down to the more affordable supply, because housing becomes less desirable as it ages. That means the luxury housing being built today will contribute to the middle-class supply 30 years from now; it means today’s middle-class housing was luxury housing 30 years ago.”