The HomeWork: August 10, 2022
Welcome to the August 10, 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
This Thursday, the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees will hold their Suspense hearings to determine which bills make it to the floor for a full vote and which bills will be held in Committee. Many of California YIMBY’s priority bills are going to be heard by their respective committees, including:
- AB 2873* (Jones-Sawyer), which will help track the demographics of the affordable housing construction workforce
- AB 2221* (Quirk-Silva), which will accelerate ADU development by clarifying ambiguities in existing law
- AB 2097* (Friedman), which will remove expensive parking mandates around transit
- SB 886* (Wiener), which will help universities build student and faculty housing faster and at lower cost by streamlining the environmental review process
- AB 2011 (Wicks) fast-tracks new affordable housing on land zoned for commercial uses, and includes strong provisions for affordability, labor standards, and environmental protection.
* indicates a bill is sponsored by California YIMBY
All bills that make it out of the Appropriations Committee will head to the Assembly or Senate floors for a vote. If passed, the bills will then be transferred to the Governor’s desk and await his signature. Both Assembly and Senate floor votes are expected to start as early as next week, and will continue until the end of the month.
Housing Research & Analysis
Single-Unit Zoning: Locking Out Diverse Communities in Sacramento
The Othering & Belonging Institute (OBI) at UC Berkeley has a new report out on zoning in the Sacramento region, and their findings are a stark reminder of the racist and classist impacts of exclusionary, single-unit-only zoning.
- Stephen Menendian et al (2022) report that zoning codes in the Sacramento area are “exceptionally hostile to density”—this is a region in which “only 10.7 percent of total land, and 19.9 percent of residential land, is available for multi-family homes.”
- Municipalities in the Sacramento region with the most single-family zoning tended to have whiter, less diverse populations.
- Similar to the Bay Area and Los Angeles, the cities with more single-family zoning also had a wealthier, healthier, better-educated, and more economically mobile population on average.
How Upzoning Increased Home Building in New Zealand
Recent land use reforms have made New Zealand the belle of the housing policy ball, but the island nation’s largest city of Auckland actually got a head start with a broad upzoning in 2016. In a new study by Greenaway-McGrevy & Phillips (2022), researchers find strong evidence that the upzoning led directly to increased housing construction, contrary to fears that upzoning would only increase land prices without encouraging more supply.
- “We find strong evidence that upzoning stimulated construction.”
- In the five years following Auckland’s upzoning, an estimated 26,903 new homes were permitted as a direct result.
- This finding remains statistically significant even when controlling for “spillover effects” of construction being redirected from other areas. In other words, the results show that the total volume of homebuilding increased dramatically, not just the location.
- Why California Should Ban Parking Minimums
- Affordable housing in California now routinely tops $1 million per apartment to build
- Why the US housing shortage is likely to get worse
- Homeless in California: the Americans forced to camp in the desert
- We Need to Keep Building Houses, Even if No One Wants to Buy
- Denser housing only zoned on less than a quarter of local land
- Housing Affordability Crisis Increases Odds of Recession
- The Billionaire’s Dilemma
- Key facts about housing in San Francisco
- Can the US Housing Crisis Be Fixed By Abolishing Zoning?
- How bad is California’s housing crisis for renters?
In this edition of The Homework, California YIMBY is inaugurating a new section that will highlight the work and ideas of our many aligned and supportive partners in the field. Our first submission is from Modern Power, a newsletter about building the movement for abundant housing – and other issues – in California:
“Building more housing in California is the tentpole issue for the Abundance Movement; AHN and AB 2011 represent important opportunities to start making the Abundance Agenda real. Now is the time to get engaged to help these efforts get across the line and further develop an Abundance coalition with allies in Labor to push forward on progress in California.”
Sustainable Growth Yolo – August Happy Hour and General Meeting
Join Sustainable Growth Yolo on a tour and picnic as we imagine a Moffett Boulevard with more affordable homes and accessible transportation.
Sustainable Growth Yolo
Thursday, August 11 @ 4:30pm
Sudwerk Brewing Co. 2001 2nd St, Davis, CA 95618
East Bay for Everyone – Intro to Housing for New Members
This zoom presentation will teach you the basics of housing politics and how to have an impact as a newcomer to the pro-housing movement.
East Bay For Everyone
Thursday, August 11 @ 6:30pm
Westside for Everyone – Conversation with Katy Young Yaroslavsky, LA City Council Candidate
Come meet Katy Young Yaroslavsky, the candidate for Los Angeles City Council District 5, who led in the primaries. This will be an opportunity to learn more about her housing platform, followed by Q&A.
Westside for Everyone
Thursday, August 11 @ 7:00pm
YIMBY Social – Top Posts
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We welcome your ideas and feedback — send story tips and ideas to Homework@cayimby.org.