California still needs more housing close to transit.
In recent weeks, California has emerged as one center of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it continues to face challenges that existed long before the disease reached the state. Two serious ones: how California will meet its ever more stringent greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and how the state will manage to provide affordable housing for …CONTINUE READING
Challenges and opportunities as TOC continues to drive affordable housing production
I’ve written before about Los Angeles’ Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Program, an inclusionary housing program designed to allow for increased density in residential and mixed-use projects near major transit stops in exchange for a developer commitment to include a set percentage of affordable housing units in those projects. Since implementation began in late 2017, the …CONTINUE READING
Council Wants Hotels, But No Housing
Yesterday, I expressed wonder that the City of Los Angeles actually did planning right for a change. Obviously, I jinxed it. Reducing VMT, and thus carbon emissions, requires cities to plan and zone for affordable housing (whether defined as deed-restricted or simply at a reasonable market rate). But despite city leaders’ claims of an affordable …CONTINUE READING
San Francisco Takes NIMBYism to a New Level
A few years ago, an episode of South Park saw Cartman attempting to rescue Kyle in San Francisco from a SMUG alert. It was, as it is so often, ahead of its time: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously rejected a 63-unit apartment complex, including 15 below-market-rate units, because it would cast …CONTINUE READING
Greening our infrastructure is part of the solution, but so’s city planning.
While there’s certainly been no shortage of criticism of last week’s Green New Deal resolution, the common line hasn’t been that the resolution doesn’t try to cover enough ground. On the contrary, it’s been called an everything-but-the-carbon-sink approach; even Trevor Noah devoted a few minutes of the Daily Show to gaping at the proposal’s efforts …CONTINUE READING
But could we make it easier?
My colleague Jonathan Zasloff rightly points out that one way to harness the benefits of upzoning to alleviate our housing crisis is to promote inclusionary requirements for transit-oriented development. Los Angeles has adopted just such a program through its Transit-Oriented Communities ordinance, which I’ve written about here. Per the City of Los Angeles’ initial assessment, …CONTINUE READING
Wide Array of Important Environmental Questions Confront California Voters
California’s Secretary of State has certified 12 ballot measures (“propositions,” in California election parlance) to appear on the state’s November 6, 2018 general election ballot. Many of those propositions–indeed, fully half of the dozen measures with which state voters will be confronted this fall–involve important environmental policy and legal questions. I’ll write in greater detail …CONTINUE READING
But the bill is still bad for the environment
Republicans from the House and Senate voted yesterday to approve their conference tax bill. Due to intense lobbying efforts, negotiators in the committee reduced some of the harm I described that the previous versions of the bill would have done to renewable energy, electric vehicles, and affordable housing. As Brad Plumer in the New York …CONTINUE READING
Proposed tax code changes would destroy the market for tax credit financing
Donald Trump’s electoral college win a year ago certainly promised a lot of setbacks for the environmental movement. True to form, his administration’s attempts this year to roll back environmental protections, under-staff key agencies enforcing our environmental laws, and prop up dirty energy industries have all taken their toll. However, until the tax bill passed …CONTINUE READING
California Political Leaders Announce Historic Housing Accord
The Sacramento Bee reports that California Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic leaders of the State Senate and Assembly have reached an 11th-hour agreement to address California’s chronic, steadily growing affordable housing crisis. (The California Legislature’s 2017 session concludes in mid-September.) That’s good news indeed–and a most welcome (if overdue) proposed fix to one of …CONTINUE READING