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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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“Informal” Housing – It’s Not Just a Formality

California’s statewide accessory dwelling unit (ADU) reforms are an unambiguous housing policy win, enabling the permitting and construction of tens of thousands of new homes all across the state. However, legal ADU development is not the whole story: even with…

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More Homes: Illegal in 96% of California

“How much of California’s residential land is zoned exclusively for single family homes?” is a fairly straightforward question that is surprisingly difficult to answer – because state-level data on zoning largely does not exist. Until now. In Single-Family Zoning in…

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What is “Inclusionary Zoning”? The California YIMBY Explainer

What is “affordable housing?” When most people hear the term “affordable housing,” they think “housing that I can afford based on my income and expenses,” not “housing that is subsidized and restricted to households that make less than a certain…

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AHF Rent Control Measure Analysis

By Max Dubler Introduction In November 2024, California will vote on the Justice For Renters Act, a ballot measure that removes state-level restrictions on local governments’ power to enact rent control. This analysis of the measure is intended to help…

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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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