04/20/2018

News

Landless Americans Are the New Serf Class

For the better part of the past century, the American dream was defined, in large part, by that “universal aspiration” to own a home. As housing prices continue to outstrip household income, that’s changing as more and more younger Americans are ending up landless, and not by choice. The share of homeownership has dropped most […]

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Growth controls have caused the state’s housing shortage, yet a modest proposal to increase supply struggles to gain support.

Economic illiteracy has an astoundingly high cost. In Venezuela, children are dying of hunger but the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, has a bizarre new idea for making food affordable again. His latest plan is to simply shave three zeros off of the currency to control hyperinflation, so that a dozen eggs will cost 250 bolivars […]

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California worse than every state but one for building housing

California ranks 49th in the nation for housing per capita, highlighting how seriously state policy makers need to take the state’s housing crisis, gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said this month. The ranking comes from a 2016 report from McKinsey Global Institute titled “A Tool Kit to Close California’s Housing Gap: 3.5 Million Homes […]

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Billions of dollars to help California’s homeless population are piling up — and going unspent

California’s homeless population has grown to more than 134,000 people, and key state government spending is taking a while to reach the streets. In summer 2016 the state approved its largest homeless program, a $2-billion loan to help finance new housing, but the money is tied up in court. That same year, lawmakers allocated $35 […]

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Coming soon: 10-year deadline to install water-saving fixtures in multifamily

Owners of older apartment buildings in California face a Jan. 1, 2019, deadline to make sure their plumbing fixtures meet state water-saving standards. The New Year’s Day deadline applies to pre-1994 multifamily housing, as well as commercial buildings. Non-compliant plumbing fixtures — from faucets to toilets to shower heads — must be replaced with water-conserving […]

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New California bill would give big state funding boost to affordable housing

A Bay Area legislator is unveiling new legislation to provide major state funding for cities and counties to finance low-income housing, transit and other infrastructure. Assembly Bill 3037 from Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) would re-create a version of a program known as redevelopment that set aside billions of dollars in property taxes each year […]

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San Jose mortgage originations plummet as down payments soar again

San Jose’s median down payment, the highest in the nation, is now up to $268,000, higher even than San Francisco.

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The Next Housing Crisis: A Historic Shortage of New Homes

America is facing a new housing crisis. A decade after an epic construction binge, fewer homes are being built per household than at almost any time in U.S. history. Home construction per household a decade after the bust remains near the lowest level in 60 years of record-keeping, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of […]

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It All Adds Up, The Cost of Housing Development Fees in Seven California Cities

Development fees—which cities levy to pay for services needed to build new housing or to offset the impacts of growth on the community—make up a significant portion of the cost to build new housing in California cities. On average, these fees continue to rise, while nationally fees have decreased. As the supply of housing in […]

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It’s pricey to live in Southern California — here’s the proof

The Economic Policy Institute’s latest Family Budget Calculator shows that a family of two adults and two children in L.A. County need to earn $7,691 a month, or $92,295 a year, to meet all of its living expenses. That outstrips L.A. County’s median family income, which is just $66,203 per year, according to the U.S. […]

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Dan Walters: How would California’s next governor face the housing crisis?

Some of the candidates want even higher levels of construction. Newsom and Villaraigosa have talked about building 500,000 new units a year to attack the backlog of unmet needs. But that would mean coming up with $200 billion a year in construction funding. As last year’s housing finance legislation demonstrated, state and local governments can […]

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Who’s Really to Blame for OC’s Housing Affordability Crisis?

So who’s to blame? Homebuilders — in an industry that has fueled California’s economy for more than half a century — are as eager as ever to build the American Dream in the Golden State. But here’s the problem: lawmakers, regulators, local governments and anti-development activists — who already own their own home — won’t […]

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Opinion: California’s housing crisis and the density delusion

Once seen as a human-scale alternative to the crowded cities of the past, California’s cities are targeted by policy makers and planners dreaming of bringing back the “good old days,” circa 1900, when most people in the largest cities lived in small, cramped apartments. This move is being fronted by well-funded YIMBYs (“yes in my […]

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Stat of the Week: $150,000 added to every new home

That’s the estimated cost of city fees tacked onto each new single-family home in Fremont. The Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, compared housing development fees in seven cities: Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, Los Angeles, Irvine, Sacramento and Roseville. Fremont topped for both single-family homes and for multifamily units at about […]

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The New Corn Laws: Why Housing Costs Are So High

Land is of course inherently finite, and land in a particular labor market is not only finite but may be scarce. However, that there is only so much land in a metropolitan area does not determine how many people can live on it. A given plot of land can be occupied by a large apartment […]

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