The Homework Newsletter

The HomeWork: February 2, 2023

February 02, 2023

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.

News from Sacramento

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.

Housing Research & Analysis

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 In a new blog post, Andrew Justus of the Niskanen Center argues that out-of-date building code rules related to stairways may be partly to blame.

Key takeaways:

  • 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.

Key takeaways:

  • 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.

Houser Headlines

YIMBY Social – Top Posts

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