Topic: Housing
Sept. 27, 2017

Housing experts say it is the most ambitious move the state has taken in decades – and perhaps ever – to address the issue. They say it is “historic” in part because the state’s housing affordability crisis, with rising home values, skyrocketing rents and rampant tenant displacement, is unprecedented. As costs have grown since the recession, the state has done little until now.

But Californians should not expect the effects to be felt immediately. Even years down the road, the measures will not stop rents from increasing or home prices from trending upwards.

“It’s very hard to get enough housing built to lower the price,” Rosen said. “New funding may build several thousand units, but that’s very small compared to the size of the need. If we make it easier for developers to build housing, the market will be able to better keep pace with demand, and therefore we may be able to slow the rate of increase.”

Sept. 27, 2017

It could take decades and cost billions to build enough housing to make even a modest dent in home prices in the Bay Area and across the state, a team of economists reported Wednesday.

The quarterly UCLA Anderson Forecast casts doubt upon efforts in San Francisco and surrounding communities to lower the cost of living, suggesting that investments far beyond what is contemplated would be needed to stop folks from paying exorbitant prices for wallpapered shoeboxes within a scooter’s distance of San Francisco Bay.

Jerry Nickelsburg, director of the UCLA forecast team, said it would take 20 percent more housing to achieve a 10 percent reduction in prices. Such a reduction throughout California would bring costs down roughly to 2014 levels, he said, citing figures provided by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Sept. 26, 2017

As poll after poll finds that housing costs are driving Californians to pack up and move, a new survey paints a detailed portrait of the anti-growth mindset that has been widely blamed for the short supply of homes underlying the problem. What the survey found surprised veteran pollster Mark Baldassare: Nearly two-thirds of adults in California — and 70 percent in the Bay Area — favor building in their cities to meet the need. “Obviously we asked this question because Californians are so often associated with NIMBY-ism, Not in My Backyard, but maybe because we’re at such a crisis point with housing costs that so many people recognize that it’s a problem — and for so many people it is a problem for them,” said Baldassare, president and CEO of the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, the San Francisco-based nonprofit that conducted the poll.

Sept. 26, 2017

Three of San Francisco’s largest residential projects have been stalled by months of infrastructure approval delays, another obstacle in the push to alleviate the city’s housing shortage.

The projects, Parkmerced, Schlage Lock and Treasure Island, are at three different corners of the city and collectively contain more than 15,000 housing units, including thousands of affordable units.

Despite winning Board of Supervisors approvals years ago, each project has grappled with various technical approvals required by the city, according to developers, city officials and building permit documents. None have started construction on their housing phases, despite previous schedules calling for work to start by this year.

. . . A source, who works on one of the three projects, said there are “fundamental disagreements” between city agencies about project details, such as the shape of a driveway or the design of a building façade. That’s led to numerous delays.

Sept. 18, 2017

More than half of California voters say the state’s housing affordability crisis is so bad that they’ve considered moving, and 60 percent of the electorate supports rent control, according to a new statewide poll.

The findings from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies reflect broad concerns Californians have over the soaring cost of living. Amid an unprecedented housing shortage, rents have skyrocketed and tenants have faced mass evictions, especially in desirable areas.

“It’s an extremely serious problem,” said poll director Mark DiCamillo. “People are being forced to consider moving because of the rising cost of housing – that’s pretty prevalent all over the state.”

Of the 56 percent of voters who said they’ve considered moving, 1 in 4 said they’d relocate out of state if they did.

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