Topic: Housing
June 29, 2017

Developers have built more than 500 homes in Foster City since the council approved its housing plan in 2015, a number that already exceeds the new houses called for under the plan through 2023. But all those new homes came from projects approved before 2012 that home builders are just now putting on the market. And the city has turned away other developers interested in building housing where the city’s plan said they could, Perez said. Since early 2015, Foster City’s median home value has increased 13% to a record $1.5 million, more than seven times the national average. Perez believes state politicians should hold cities accountable for approving new housing projects by providing money to local

June 27, 2017

Estimated impacts on energy consumption may look tiny in the graph…but they add up! The authors estimate that a house built just after 1978 uses 8-13% less electricity for cooling than a similar house built just before 1978. The good news is that these are significant reductions, particularly when you consider that cooling drives peak consumption in California. The not so good news is that these reductions fall far short of engineering estimates (which project ~40% cooling reduction for a Sacramento house).

June 22, 2017

One of California’s wealthiest counties may continue to get a pass under the state’s affordable housing laws. Lawmakers are considering a measure that would allow parts of Marin County to limit growth more tightly than other regions of California. The provision, inserted last week into a bill connected to the state budget, lets Marin County’s largest cities and unincorporated areas maintain extra restrictions on how many homes developers can build. . . . Since the changes are tied to last week’s passage of the state budget, which Brown has yet to sign, the measure does not have to go through the regular committee process. It’s had just one public hearing and lawmakers could vote on the bill as early as Thursday. . . . Today, the county’s per capita income of $60,236 is the highest of any county in the state, according to U.S. census figures. But the average renter in Marin County makes just $19.21 an hour and would need to work 77 hours a week to afford a studio apartment at the $1,915-a-month market rate, according to data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

June 20, 2017

Home prices in Los Angeles have never been higher, and rents are increasingly unaffordable for many residents. Sadly, a new report from the UCLA Anderson Schoolf of Management predicts the situation is unlikely to change in the near future. The report finds that three of the six most unaffordable cities for homebuyers nationwide are in Southern California and that Los Angeles is the single most unaffordable city for both renters and buyers. Though the cost of housing is higher in other cities, median income in LA is low enough that more residents will struggle to make monthly rental payments or save to buy a home.

June 19, 2017

Market-rate development has outstripped the supply of affordable units. And “regressive” zoning and environmental regulations, combined with California’s reputation as a tech behemoth are leading to the “hollowing out of the middle class,” Shulman said. “President Trump wants to keep people out by building a wall. California is more sophisticated – it uses zoning and development laws to keep people out, but they have the same effect,” he said.

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