New changes in state law allow local governments to commit to long-term production of housing
Over the next two years, cities across the state of California will undertake a state-mandated process to update the “housing element” of their general plans for land use. Cities must demonstrate that they have—or will provide—adequate zoned capacity to accommodate their share of “regional housing need,” a figure which is determined by the state Department …CONTINUE READING
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
UC Berkeley faces same dilemma as much of rest of California in addressing the housing crisis
UC Berkeley is not immune to California’s housing crisis. Indeed, as the student newspaper noted, the campus “has housing for 22 percent of undergrads and 9 percent of graduate students – vastly lower than the UC average of 38.1 percent for undergraduates and 19.6 percent for graduate students.” Moreover, soaring housing costs have made it …CONTINUE READING
Report covers regulatory approvals for residential projects in four LA cities in 2014-16
I’ve blogged previously about work that a team here at UC Berkeley (Moira O’Neill, Giulia Gualco-Nelson, and myself) have been doing on studying land-use regulation, environmental law, and housing production in California, to get a better sense of how regulatory processes may be driving the housing crisis in the state, and eventually to produce specific …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
New article provides more detailed data and analysis of housing entitlement in the Bay Area
This blog post (and the underlying article) was co-authored by Moira O’Neill, Giulia Gualco-Nelson, and Eric Biber. Our team has released a new article on land-use regulation and housing in the Bay Area, building on our report from last February that explored the role of local law and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) on …CONTINUE READING
California gubernatorial candidates debate the role of CEQA and local land-use regulations in the state’s housing crisis
The first (and probably only) debate in the California governor’s race happened earlier this week between Democratic nominee Gavin Newsom and Republican nominee John Cox. Appropriately enough both candidates were asked how they were going to address the state’s housing crisis. Newsom’s response was an ambitious target of 500,000 new homes/year through 2025 (far higher …CONTINUE READING
Ongoing research suggests that CEQA is more a symptom than the cause of the problem.
This blog post was authored by Moira O’Neill, Giulia Gualco-Nelson, and Eric Biber. Discussions about what laws and regulations might drive up housing costs continue in California. One reoccurring theme in the media is the question of whether the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) significantly contributes to the housing crisis in California by either driving …CONTINUE READING
First report from Berkeley/Columbia research project shows how Bay Area residential developments negotiate land-use and CEQA review
A group of interdisciplinary researchers from law and planning (which I am part of) just released its first report on how CEQA and land-use law shape the process of regulating and approving residential developments in five Bay Area cities. (I first posted about our research here.) I’ve included the Executive Summary below, and the full …CONTINUE READING