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The Homework

The HomeWork is the official newsletter of California YIMBY — legislative updates, news clips, housing research and analysis, and the latest writings from the California YIMBY team.

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Does Walkability Make Us Happier?

Does living in a walkable neighborhood make people happier? Kevin M. Leyden, Michael J. Hogan, Lorraine D’Arcy, Brendan Bunting, and Sebastiaan Bierema investigate the “linkages between place, health, and happiness in younger and older adults” in their paper Walkable Neighborhoods.…

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The Homevoter Hypothesis: A New Generation Gap?

We know that older people vote more than younger people and that homeowners vote more than renters; but are older homeowners, as a class, overrepresented in local elections? Katherine Levine Einstein, Maxwell Palmer, Ellis Hamilton, and Ethan Singer analyzed the…

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Housing Policy Is (Still) Climate Policy

An abundance of climate and urban planning research has shown that urban sprawl is responsible for a significant share of global climate pollution. Sprawl requires longer trips in private vehicles, measured in “vehicle miles traveled,” or VMT. It also increases…

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The Tradeoffs of Inclusionary Zoning: A Closer Look​

Inclusionary Zoning (IZ), the practice of requiring home builders to set aside some units in new housing construction to be rented at below-market rates (BMR) to low-income households, is a popular strategy to increase the production of affordable housing while…

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Inclusionary Zoning: Are Goals and Outcomes Aligned?

Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) is a policy that requires developers to set aside some of the new homes they build as income-restricted housing, affordable to renters or buyers who make less than a defined amount (typically determined as a percentage of…

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A Comprehensive Study of Rent Control

Few economic policies have been studied as extensively as rent control, which is an umbrella term for policies regulating when and how much a landlord may raise the rent for a home or apartment. In “Rent control effects through the…

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Paying the Ultimate Price for Housing: The Case for Affordability

Housing has long been studied as a social determinant of health, but past studies have mostly looked at housing quality (for example, lead paint, indoor air pollution) and neighborhood effects (such as segregation) – with less attention paid to rent…

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Smaller Lots, Smaller Prices: Evidence from Houston

In recent years, pro-housing reformers around the country have successfully changed state and local land use policies to allow greater density on residential lots zoned exclusively for one house. Most of these efforts have focused on adjusting regulations such as…

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Movin’ On Up: How Costly New Homes Create Affordable Old Homes

In housing policy, a common theory of how to provide the maximum number of affordable homes to the greatest number of people is known as “filtering:” the process through which aging homes depreciate, and become less costly as higher-income residents…

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Sharpening the Pencil: How Smart Policy Can Reduce the High Cost of Homebuilding

How much does it cost to build new housing? And are these costs aligned with what the market will bear for rents, or broad goals of housing affordability?  In the world of housing contractors and developers, the term for a…

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