11/18/2018

News

In East Palo Alto, residents say tech companies have created ‘a semi-feudal society’

This poor city is surrounded by the temples of the new American economy that has, in nearly every way imaginable, passed it by. Just outside the northern city limit, Facebook is expanding the blocks-long headquarters it built seven years ago. Google’s offices sit just outside the southern edge, and just a few miles to the […]

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The High Costs of Affordable Housing

San Francisco already has built or conserved over 20,000 units of affordable housing of various types, which is about 5% of all units in the city. Also, about 40% of housing units citywide are rent controlled, making them more affordable than market rate units. With its high land acquisition costs, expensive labor and complex regulation, […]

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The Causes of California’s Housing Crisis

The homeownership rate in California equaled the national rate from 1950 well into the 1960s. Yet, by 2005, California’s homeownership rate was 13.3 percent below the national average and the 49th lowest in the nation. In the second quarter of 2018, the homeownership rate in California was 54.3 percent, the third lowest in the nation, […]

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The functions of wealth: renters, owners and capitalists across Europe and the United States

Piketty (2017) argues in favor of a multidimensional and relational approach to the analysis of wealth inequality. Speci cally, he suggests that social classes should be ana- lyzed in terms of the power and production relations between social groups, not just the percentiles in statistical distributions into which various groups fall. We propose such a […]

Research & Studies
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Owning your own home doesn’t make you rich. Owning somebody else’s does.

In the United States more than almost anywhere else, wealth and income are concentrated among business owners and landlords. And that club, blessed by capitalism, is becoming increasingly difficult to join. Business owners and landlords tend to be about four times as wealthy as the average American. That’s more than almost any other country included […]

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Why one of America’s richest states is also its poorest

If you were to ask most Americans which is the poorest state in the nation, they might say Alabama or Mississippi, with their low average incomes and concentrations of African-American poverty. In fact, the state with the largest share of people in poverty is California. As the most populous state, it also has by far […]

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The Decline of African-American and Hispanic Wealth since the Great Recession

Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, I find that the ratio in standard net worth NW between African-Americans and (non-Hispanic) whites was the same in 2007 as in 1983 (0.19) but then fell to 0.14 in 2016. The wealth ratio between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites climbed considerably between 1983 and 2007, from 0.16 […]

Research & Studies
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Sacramento waives fees on affordable housing projects; how much will it cost?

Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday to stop charging most city-imposed fees to developers who build new affordable housing. Starting Dec. 30, developers and nonprofits that build new affordable apartment units and single-family homes will no longer need to pay city fees that go toward services like infrastructure, parks, water and sewer, a city staff report […]

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Understanding California’s Housing Affordability Crisis

According to an October 21, 2018 Los Angeles Times article, experts “agree that the fundamental issue underlying the state’s housing crisis is that there are not enough homes.” In contrast, according to the article, is that “the public doesn’t believe it.” Only 13 percent of registered voters cited “too little homebuilding” as a principal reason […]

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LA City Council Proposes Yet Another Fee That Will Make Housing More Expensive

On October 23, the Los Angeles City Council will consider approving a 1,000% increase in their Street Damage Restoration Fee (SDRF) ordinance. This is a fee that companies or utilities pay when they must cut in to a street in order to fix or build new infrastructure like internet cables, gas lines, or water pipes. […]

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Housing Crunch is Discriminatory

A NIMBY group may be satisfied with stopping a housing project in their neighborhood but I wonder if they realize that their efforts are discriminatory – creating displacement and relegating people of color to areas of greater poverty. According to a recently released study, that’s exactly what those efforts produce. The study, conducted by the […]

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Experts say California needs to build a lot more housing. But the public disagrees

Academic researchers, state analysts and California’s gubernatorial candidates agree that the fundamental issue underlying the state’s housing crisis is that there are not enough homes for everyone who wants to live here. The problem, a new poll says, is that the public doesn’t believe it. A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times survey found that just 13% […]

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L.A. will eliminate ‘veto’ provision for homeless and affordable housing to keep state funding

To hang on to state funding, Los Angeles will eliminate a disputed requirement that gave city politicians the power to block funding for homeless housing in their districts. The decision ends a longstanding practice that has drawn criticism from nonprofit groups that assist poor and homeless people: Under city regulations, L.A. has required developers seeking […]

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Dan Walters: Four measures would do little about housing crisis

Few would doubt that California’s single most important economic/political issue is a growing housing shortage which distresses millions of Californians and is the largest single factor in the state’s highest-in-the-nation poverty rate. The state says we need to be building 180,000 new housing units each year to keep up with population growth, replace housing that’s […]

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Squatters’ takeover of Torrance home illustrates landlord frustrations with state law

In California, squatters can claim legal title to someone else’s property through an arcane legal procedure known as “adverse possession.” The law, enacted in 1872, originally was meant for abandoned rural properties that had gone fallow. In modern times, it’s mostly cited when there is a dispute over property lines. However, squatters can use it […]

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