Welcome to the February 2, 2023 Main edition of The Homework, the official newsletter of California YIMBY — legislative updates, news clips, housing research and analysis, and the latest writings from the California YIMBY team.
From now until the deadline on February 17th, 2023, legislators will be introducing their bills for this legislative session. California YIMBY is both sponsoring and tracking many housing bills; join our mailing list for real-time updates as we roll out our priority legislation, to stay updated on other major bills being introduced, and to keep track of the timing of upcoming committee hearings.
Designing the Stairway to Heaven
While the broader housing shortage is driving up housing costs for a huge share of the population, many cities face an acute shortage of family-sized units in particular. In a new blog post, Andrew Justus of the Niskanen Center argues that out-of-date building code rules related to stairways may be partly to blame.
- Building code rules requiring two stairwells in buildings of more than three stories essentially mandate what’s known as a “double-loaded corridor,” or hallways lined with apartments on either side – an inefficient use of space.
- These types of corridors displace other uses in a building, such as larger, family-sized apartments, or community rooms.
- Stairway reform could therefore increase housing abundance and affordability by making better use of a building’s floor area.
(Re)-legalize corner stores? Ja, natürlich
American zoning is predicated on the idea that residential, commercial, and industrial uses should all be strictly segregated—indeed, to an unusual degree by international standards.
Research by Hirt (2010) compares American zoning to German zoning to reveal how much more restrictive residential zones in the U.S. are relative to peer countries.
- U.S. zoning is unusually strict in the extent to which it segregates uses. In Germany, even the more restrictive residential zoning districts allow some low-rise multifamily and neighborhood-serving commercial uses.
- Meet the Latest Housing-Crisis Scapegoat | The Atlantic
- Editorial: CEQA is too easily weaponized to block housing and slow environmental progress | LA Times
- Mayors: Affordable housing demand is crushing us | Politico
- Editorial: Patience, please. Undoing damage from decades of anti-housing policy in California won’t happen overnight | LA Times
- To Meet State Housing Goals, One Bay Area City Had to Overcome Its NIMBY Past | KQED
- For too many among us, the California dream has turned into a nightmare and a farce | Sacramento Bee
- Rand survey finds homelessness up 18% in L.A. hot spots where the official count recorded decreases | LA Times
- Lennar defies La Habra’s Measure X, files what could be ‘builder’s remedy’ application | Orange County Register
- What Renters Can Expect Now That COVID-Era Tenant Protections Have Been Extended Again | LAist
- All about ADUs | The San Diego Union-Tribune
- Half Moon Bay needs more homes for farmworkers. Experts blame an ‘anti-housing constituency’ | SF Chronicle
- Marin’s mandated housing: Much planned, little ‘affordable’ | Marin I-J
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