The Homework Newsletter

The HomeWork: December 13, 2022

December 13, 2022

Welcome to the December 13, 2022 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.

News from Sacramento

On December 6, California YIMBY released its new report on solutions to the growing crisis of homelessness across the state. “Housing Abundance as a Condition for Ending Homelessness,” was written by California YIMBY Policy Director Ned Resnikoff; the full report, along with a short animation and other resources, are available on the California YIMBY website at

In addition to a focus on solutions to the challenges of chronic homelessness and the shortage of low-income housing, the report offers several correctives to common myths about homelessness – such as the notion that people experiencing homelessness come to California from other states, or that most of the unsheltered homeless have substance abuse or mental health issues.

Housing Research & Analysis

When 1 + 1 = Zero: How NIMBYism Fosters Housing Skepticism

While research has shown that new homebuilding can bring an immediate benefit to local housing affordability, a new survey study by University of California scholars Clayton Nall, Chris Elmendorf, and California YIMBY alumni Stan Oklobdzija finds that people tend to be skeptical about the effects of housing supply on prices, even while correctly intuiting these effects in other markets, like food, or cars.

Key takeaways:

  1. From two national surveys of roughly 2,500-3,000 US adults in urban and suburban areas, “only about 30–40 percent of respondents believe that additional supply would reduce prices and rents.”

  2. However, “respondents generally gave correct answers to questions about supply shocks in other markets” – including grain, cars, and labor.

  3. The political implications are clear: “support for state preemption of local land-use restrictions depends on beliefs about housing markets.” The authors hypothesize that “Supply Skepticism may be an outgrowth or manifestation of a zero-sum worldview.”

Large Lots, Segregated Cities

A new Job Market Paper by Tianfang Cui at the University of Pennsylvania studies the impact of exclusionary zoning through one specific and under-examined variable: minimum lot sizes.

Key takeaways:

  1. “From 1940–1970, the rise in central city Black composition in non-Southern central cities modestly accelerated minimum lot size adoption” along with other zoning restrictions.

  2. Meanwhile, migration of lower-income white households to the same cities had no observable relationship with minimum lot size regulations.

  3. The intent to enforce racial exclusion was often explicit: “In states that passed early legislation to desegregate public schools, Black migration had the largest effects on lot size restrictiveness.”

Houser Headlines

YIMBY Social – Top Posts

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