A recent careful study says no, but it suffers from unavoidable data and conceptual problems.
A new study on upzoning is out from the highly-respected Urban Institute, and it doesn’t have great news for YIMBYs: We find that reforms that loosen restrictions are associated with a statistically significant 0.8 percent increase in housing supply within three to nine years of reform passage, accounting for new and existing stock. This increase …CONTINUE READING
The California Legislature’s new duplex bill shows that lawmakers have had it with resistance to housing.
I wrote a few weeks ago on a Terner Center report concerning SB 9, California’s law allowing single-family lots to split and put in duplexes as a matter of right throughout the state. Essentially, the message was simple: localities were engaged in a Massive Resistance to the state mandates, throwing sand in the gears at …CONTINUE READING
The decision blocking student housing hardly represents new NIMBY weaponization.
Lots of screaming and yelling about last week’s Court of Appeal CEQA decision concerning student housing at UC Berkeley. The Court struck down the university’s plan for more student housing on the grounds that the final Environmental Impact Report did not adequately assess noise impacts from students. “The campus is dismayed by this unprecedented …CONTINUE READING
NIMBYism’s intellectual collapse is on view in California.
After patiently requesting, begging, insisting, pleading, and incentivizing local governments to plan for more affordable housing, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, armed with new powers from the state legislature, has had enough. It is cracking down on local governments that simply refuse to do their fair share in alleviating the state’s housing …CONTINUE READING
A recent case shows why the law is so important – and how it can be abused
Even the best and conscientious developers gnash their teeth at CEQA, California’s environmental review law, and one can see why: it can allow NIMBYs to block useful housing and supercharge exclusion. But there’s a reason why the law was passed and why it has persisted, and we saw it three days ago: Trees of Los …CONTINUE READING
California “YIGBY” Bill Could Empower Churches To Add Affordable Housing
As Martin Luther King day ends here on the west coast, the role of churches and religious institutions looms large. King’s activism arose out of his spiritual commitment. And in California, it looms large in a surprising way concerning the built environment. Land use is (in)famous for its acronyms: NIMBY, BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere …CONTINUE READING
Omnibus’ “Baby YIMBY” Bill Offers An Opportunity For Cities — And For Advocates
Tucked deep inside the massive Omnibus bill is what has been called the “Baby YIMBY” provision — an $85 million grant program, to be administered by HUD: The bill provides the U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with $85 million to dole out on a competitive basis to jurisdictions for “the identification and …CONTINUE READING
Reducing barriers to siting new electricity generation can help advance renewable energy production
Our electricity system will be crucial to decarbonization efforts, both because much of our current energy comes from electricity, and because decarbonizing sectors like transportation will require significant electrification. And electricity is the sector where we have had the most success in decarbonization so far in the United States. But there is still more to …CONTINUE READING
NIMBYs Win A Battle, But Trench Warfare Continues
The NIMBYs have won a battle: A high-profile bill that would have increased home building near mass transit and in single-family home neighborhoods across California has been killed for the year, ending a major battle over how to address the state’s housing affordability crisis that has attracted attention nationwide. Senate Bill 50 by Sen. …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