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Newsroom

  • Los Angeles Times: After Years of Dramatic Increases, Rents are Finally Showing Signs of Slowing

    After years of dramatic increases, rents are finally showing signs of slowing

    After a remarkable run-up in housing costs that has crimped budgets, forced families from their neighborhoods and contributed to homelessness, it appears rent growth is slowing in Southern California and across the nation. Experts attribute the tapering in part to an increase in new apartment buildings that, although not giving tenants the upper hand, is giving them a bit more leverage than in years past. And after years of steady increases, some renters are simply unable or unwilling to stretch further, with the richest among them choosing a mortgage instead.

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  • San Diego Union-Tribune: Cities, Even Other Countries, Taking Note of Tent Shelters

    Tent tourThe effectiveness of the three large tent shelters that San Diego opened about nine months ago has been questioned locally recently, but the idea still is catching the attention of cities from throughout the nation. “You guys are the 19th ones to visit us,” Alpha Project CEO Bob McElroy said recently as a delegation from Vancouver and Los Angeles toured the 325-bed tent the nonprofit oversees at the end of Newton Avenue in downtown San Diego. McElroy told the visitors about the challenges San Diego has faced in trying to find permanent homes for the city’s unsheltered homeless population. “The reality is, there has to be a place for folks to go, and I’m assuming that’s why you’re here,” he said. “There is no place for folks to go.” In addition to the Alpha Project, Father Joe’s Villages operates a tent downtown, and Veterans Village of San Diego has one on Sports Arena Boulevard

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  • Bakersfield: Gamboa: Prop 10 Threatens California’s Ability to Fix the Affordable Housing Crisis

    John GamboaBoth gubernatorial candidates have a lot to say about how to fix our housing crisis. They have great ideas about how to expedite housing construction, increase inventory and reduce costs for families looking to achieve the American Dream of homeownership. Unfortunately, these ideas don’t exist in a political vacuum and there are existing and future threats that will build more barriers to construction, make our housing crisis worse and overall make life more difficult for California’s working class. As a lifelong advocate against exclusionary housing policies and who now fights for minorities to own homes, build wealth and achieve middle-income status with real upward economic mobility, I am very concerned that the good work being promoted by our gubernatorial candidates will be undone before it can start.

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  • San Diego Union-Tribune: California Ranks No. 1 in Poverty Once Again. Take a Guess Why

    California was given a first-place title this week that it surely doesn’t want. It has the highest rate of poverty of any state in the country, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.As a whole, the U.S. saw its national poverty rate decreases slightly 0.4 percentage points. But the Golden State has its own unique poverty story to tell. Here’s what you should know.

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  • Curbed Los Angeles: County supervisors vote in favor of temporary rent ‘freeze’

    Los Angeles County supervisors voted 4 to 1 in favor today of temporarily restricting landlords in unincorporated communities from raising rents more than 3 percent per year. The so-called rent freeze will have to be voted on again before taking effect. That’s likely to happen in 60 days, and if ultimately approved, it would limit increases to 3 percent per year for six months, using today’s rent levels as the baseline. (That baseline, proponents say, is critical to stopping landlords from passing big rent hikes ahead of the final adoption.) It’s a stop gap measure, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said, while county officials mull a permanent rent stabilization ordinance in Los Angeles County, where a housing crisis is helping fuel a scourge of homelessness.

     

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  • Next City: Oakland Land Trust Finds More Ways to Preserve Affordable Housing

    In 2014, as she approached four decades of being a landlord, then 70-year-old east Oakland resident Dixi Carrillo decided to sell her rental property next to her home. Carrillo, a retired landscape photographer, was devoted to maintaining the 8,000-square-foot building where 10 musicians, painters and other artists have live-work space, but she wanted more time to pursue her own art.

     

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  • The Sacramento Bee: California Approves Goal for 100% Carbon-Free Electricity by 2045

    Ahead of a summit this week meant to galvanize regional action on climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation that would put California on the path to eliminating fossil fuels from its energy sector. Senate Bill 100 speeds up the state’s timeline for moving to renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and requires that all retail electricity be carbon-free by 2045. California is the second state to adopt such a goal, after Hawaii. “It’s not going to be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” Brown said at a signing ceremony in Sacramento. “California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change.”

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  • Streetsblog Cal: Legislative Update: Bills Supporting More, Fairer, and Infill Housing

    Sierra Bonita Housing in West Hollywood. Image courtesy of Patrick Tighe ArchitectureThere are many reasons California has not kept up with the demand for housing in its cities, and one of them is resistance from cities, especially ones dominated by single family homes. Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs, the closest thing California has to regional governments) have a mostly toothless mechanism to increase housing called the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, or RHNA (pronounced “reena”), wherein MPOs tell cities how many of the regionally-needed housing units the cities are responsible for. But cities sidestep and sometimes just ignore their RHNA. Several bills currently awaiting the governor’s signature seek to make it harder for them to do that.

     

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  • Brookings: Lessons from the Financial Crisis: The Central Importance of a Sustainable Affordable and Inclusive Housing Market

    On this tenth anniversary of the financial crisis, there have been many retrospectives on the US government’s response to that catastrophe, with more to come. The commentary to date has largely focused on the extraordinary measures taken to prevent a much deeper collapse of the American and global economies.  Measures were implemented to address the immediate crisis and reduce the likelihood of a repeat event. Both had a significant impact.  But in examining the crisis and its responses, it is critical to remember that it was triggered and substantially driven by a dysfunctional housing market.  The immediate assistance reduced the depth of the housing market collapse. The subsequent regulatory safeguards and consumer protections have made today’s housing market much safer and resilient.

     

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  • Urbanize LA: Transit Oriented Communities: A Year in Review

    “Either you bring the water to LA or you bring LA to the water.”  The classic movie Chinatown tells the story of a crucial period in the city’s development: when the construction of a great aqueduct allowed Los Angeles to grow dramatically from its humble origins.  The plan, as this line from the film describes, was to concentrate the city’s future growth in the San Fernando Valley, where few people lived at the time but where that water source was most accessible.  Today, a new giant of civic infrastructure is in the works, and once more LA is being moved closer to it.

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