The Homework Newsletter

The HomeWork: June 16, 2023

June 16, 2023

Welcome to the June 16, 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

The legislative session in Sacramento is in full swing with policy committees, and next week our sponsored and high-priority bills will be heard:

The latest news on SB 423 (Wiener) is that it has been double-referred to the Assembly Housing Committee and Assembly Natural Resources. It is expected to be heard in its first policy committee on June 28, 2023.

To stay current on what housing bills California YIMBY is sponsoring, supporting, and watching, you can now use our Abstract link to track with us.

We will have more housing legislation news in the coming weeks as bills are refined, amended, and scheduled for committee hearings. To stay up to date on committee action, and to receive alerts for bills and other legislative activities, join our Rapid Response team.

Housing Research & Analysis

Understanding Attitudes Toward Housing in Sacramento

At the end of 2022, Valley Vision — a group dedicated to improving the livability of the Sacramento region — conducted a survey of residents of the capital region on housing and transportation, in partnership with SACOG and Sacramento State’s Institute for Social Research. The results paint a portrait of a region that recognizes housing affordability as a major issue – but isn’t quite so sure what to do about it.

Key takeaways:

  1. A slight majority of renters would describe their neighborhood as unaffordable. Two-thirds of renters agree the increasing cost of housing is a major concern.

  2. Nearly 80 percent of respondents agree that first-time home buyers will have a more difficult time finding housing in the next five years.

  3. Renters and urban residents are broadly favorable to allowing more new housing construction, including a mixture of “missing middle” typologies such as condominiums, townhouses, and apartments.

  4. The main concern that respondents have with new growth, by a wide margin, is increases in traffic and parked cars.

Getting By on Reduced Supply: The Impact of Affordability Mandates

Housing prices in Seattle have soared as the city’s population has grown dramatically in recent decades. In response, policymakers in Seattle have implemented various strategies to try to increase housing affordability. One of these is the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. MHA aims to increase the production of affordable housing in certain neighborhoods by increasing the allowable density, while also requiring that all new projects contribute funds to affordable housing.

A new report from NYU’s Furman Center by Jacob Krimmel and Betty Wang looks into the impacts of Seattle’s MHA policy on the supply and geographic distribution of new housing. The authors use a difference-in-difference estimation to quantify the effect of MHA on new units permitted in Census blocks within MHA zones and in Census blocks not subject to MHA’s affordability mandate.

Key takeaways:

  1. While there was not a citywide decline in housing supply after MHA was enacted, there was a decline in housing permitted in Census blocks within MHA zones.

  2. In fact, there was an increase in housing permitted outside of MHA zones, especially in nearby Census blocks that were not subject to MHA’s affordability requirement.

  3. These findings suggest that the costs imposed by the affordability requirement outweighed the benefits granted by the increase in allowed density.

Houser Headlines

YIMBY Social – Top Posts

YIMBYs gather for photo in front of the California State Capitol building in Sacramento

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