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Newsroom

  • OC Register: Housing shortage: Does California have a crisis problem?

    For the 30 years I’ve been a journalist at the Orange County Register, it feels like we Californians have hopped from crisis to crisis to crisis. I’m beginning to think with have a crisis of crises. We apparently just got over our water crisis, aka “the drought.” That followed the budget crisis with the ongoing prison and pension crises, after the foreclosure crisis which preceded old housing crises and the state’s hand in the savings and loan crisis, not to mention the energy crisis. And I’m sorry if I failed to mention a crisis that touched you even more personally.

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  • LA Times: Here’s how construction worker pay is dominating California’s housing debate

    la-1472859661-snap-photoThe union representing construction workers, State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, also known as the Building Trades, is the most powerful group influencing the Legislature’s response to the housing crisis. It has worked to make sure union-level pay, known as “prevailing wage,” is a consideration in any major housing bills.

    Here’s how prevailing wage works, how labor’s been so influential and why prevailing wage is so important in the housing debate.

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  • Strong Towns: The Immutable Laws of Affordable Housing

    downloadAffordable housing has become something of a buzzword (or two words) in urban circles over the last few decades. In fact, a veritable movement has arisen in cities with high housing costs, which seeks to ensure that people of all income levels have access to decent housing. A semantic problem has even arisen wherein capital A “Affordable Housing” is different from just plain affordable housing.

    I don’t intend to question the motives of the good people working in the Affordable Housing world–they’re doing what they know. But I believe ideas and outcomes are fair game for criticism. To that end, I propose we recognize and understand these rules of affordable housing.

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  • CityLab: California’s Legal Assault On NIMBYs Begins

    Construction workers build a single-family home in San Diego.California Democrats are uniting against a common enemy who they believe is making residents miserable and imperiling the state’s future. The target: NIMBYs across the state who continually shoot down new housing projects, and the localities that bend to their will. There are more than 100 bills before the California Legislature that address the state’s housing crisis, and a large share of them would crack down on communities that don’t do their part by facilitating the construction of new homes. A California Department of Housing and Community Development report published earlier this year paints a dire picture: Home ownership rates are at their lowest numbers since the 1940s; homelessness is high. Existing homes cost far too much for low-income and even middle-income residents. But the report focuses most of its attention on the homes that don’t exist yet.

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  • San Francisco Business Times: How the East Bay and Peninsula lost $185 million in affordable housing funding over the last decade

    Annual federal and state affordable housing funding for the East Bay and Peninsula plunged by $185 million over the last decade, worsening the regional housing crisis, according to new reports. Alameda, Contra Costa and San Mateo counties collectively had $65.6 million of state and federal funding in fiscal year 2015-2016, a 74 percent drop from $250.6 million in funding in fiscal year 2008-2009.  Alameda County saw a bulk of the loss, with a $115 million reduction, or 74 percent. Contra Costa lost 66 percent in funding over the same period, a difference of $37 million. San Mateo County had 83 percent less funding, a nearly $33 million decline. The analysis was released by California Housing Partnership Corp., Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and East Bay Housing Organizations, using data from the government and the University of California, Berkeley.

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  • SF Gate: Affordable housing drying up across Bay Area, report finds

    This file photo taken on May 17, 2016 shows a house for sale in Arcadia, California. Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN, AFP/Getty ImagesSkyrocketing rents, shrinking incomes and severe cuts in state- and federal-government support for affordable housing have made it far harder for lower-income Bay Area residents to find a place to live, according to a report being released Friday. The report looks at rents and incomes in Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma and San Mateo counties, and concludes that each is more than 10,000 rental spots short of what it would take for everyone of limited means to find an affordable place to live.

     

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  • California Economic Summit: Summit presents new housing series A Way Home for CA

    CA Fwd and the California Economic Summit have launched a new story series showcasing local efforts to get more housing built, reduce rising costs, and make housing more affordable for more Californians. A Way Home for CA features perspectives from across the state on both the cost of doing nothing about statewide housing shortages and the innovative ways communities are beginning to solve this problem themselves. The Summit released a statewide strategy this year for expanding access to housing—emphasizing an array of state and local actions that can help more communities say “Yes” to new development. This One Million Homes Framework has been endorsed by a coalition of environmentalists, affordable housing and equity advocates, local planners, homebuilders, and business associations.

     

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  • SacBee: Here’s who will suffer most if California doesn’t end housing crisis

    Rosalind Jackson moved to Sacramento from Oakland in hopes of affording a home. It hasn’t happened yet.As California legislators weigh, yet again, whether to do something about the housing crisis, they shouldn’t think about the young techies of San Francisco, who often are pitied for paying a small fortune to live in an apartment the size of a crawl space. They should think about the single moms with full-time jobs who are living out of their cars because they can’t afford rent. The homeless men sleeping in increasingly crowded encampments. The young people who died in the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, many of whom lived in the death trap because they couldn’t afford anything else.

     

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  • The Orange County Register: ‘Housing Crisis’ Tops State’s Legislative Agenda This Year

    Rents are too high. Home prices are out of reach. Decent listings and rentals are hard to find. Homeless encampments are growing. And many residents are cutting back on food, clothing and medical care to keep a roof over their heads. Now, after years of inaction, Sacramento may be on the verge of doing something about the state’s “housing crisis.” More than 130 housing bills surfaced this year as of the last count, many of them aimed at addressing the state’s housing shortage, lack of affordable housing and protecting those at risk of losing their homes.

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  • Construction Dive: Thinking small: How tiny homes are being used to address housing affordability, supply concerns

    Call it a revolution, call it a solution. Tiny homes have emerged over the past few years from two decidedly different motivations: as a lifestyle choice by folks hoping to live within a smaller footprint and as a short- or long-term solution for those facing homelessness or otherwise finding it difficult to afford housing. Along the way, tiny houses, whether one-off or in village-like clusters, face a bevy of obstacles from zoning rules to NIMBYism. But there’s no denying that tiny homes have developed niche applications as U.S. cities struggle to meet the housing needs of growing populations.

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