June 2, 2016
Robert Tillman owns a coin-operated laundromat in San Francisco’s Mission District, a neighborhood at the epicenter of California’s housing crisis. Over the last 2½ years, he’s spent nearly $500,000 on plans to tear down the business to build apartments. But although the city has zoned the property for apartments, Tillman hasn’t gotten very far.
April 25, 2016
Perennial attempts to tweak the California Environmental Quality Act, which many developers blame for the slow pace of building, have collapsed. A bill to fund a dedicated housing fund introduced by former Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, a longtime housing advocate, went nowhere. A $100 million annual housing tax credit expansion was vetoed.
April 25, 2016
The School Facilities Program has little new money to hand out – especially for the more costly new construction and modernization projects – but the board has been reluctant to declare it depleted. To do so would trigger a provision in state law that places the burden of school construction costs fully on the backs of housing developers by allowing districts who meet the criteria to charge them 100 percent of building costs.
March 9, 2016
Major renovations on existing homes will have to be undertaken with energy efficiency in mind, using products and systems that meet an updated state building code. California’s code is already among the strictest in the nation. . . New homes will also be required to meet higher energy standards. By 2020, each home built in California should produce as much power as it consumes. At least one builder estimates that advanced energy systems will add $50,000 to the cost of a new, super-efficient home. What will that mean in a state where low-cost housing is in short supply?
Rent control can have a negative impact on low-income households not living in rent-controlled units through higher growth in citywide median rents. Rents are too high because multi-family housing and the state’s housing stock have failed to expand
commensurately with the ever-growing population. The solution to this affordability problem is to expand the apartment stock in these cities, not introduce price ceilings.