News

Karma Time

Food for thought …. Berkeley’s legacy of redlining is over 100 years old …. so, it’s no great surprise that NIMBYism and CEQA thwart UCB housing …. karma perhaps …. will millennials pay the price for these sins? …. who knew single-family homes weren’t the ideal …. we have a housing crisis, we agree, but what to do …. depends on if one rents or owns, perhaps …. or what side of the wealth gap one resides ….


UC Berkeley facing 2 new suits over plan for faculty housing, classrooms

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
By Nanette Asimov and John King [June 15, 2019]

It doesn’t sound controversial — replace a parking garage with housing and classrooms — but UC Berkeley’s effort to redevelop a prominent spot at the northeast corner of campus is under legal fire from two fronts.

The $126 million project planned for the corner of Hearst and La Loma avenues is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a neighborhood group Wednesday that says the growth in the university’s enrollment is an unfair burden on the area.

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Why Housing Policy Feels Like Generational Warfare

The Atlantic
By Alexis C. Madrigal [June 13, 2019]

In his magisterial 2005 history, A Nation of Realtors, Jeffrey Hornstein laid out the country-shaping effect of 20th-century housing policy. In the decades following the Great Depression, the federal government—as well as states and cities—subsidized the creation and consumption of single-family homes. The American dream’s most important archetype became buying a home. “Americans,” Hornstein wrote, “particularly white Americans, came to think of themselves as inhabiting a classless society, composed of one big ‘middle class,’ its membership defined to a large degree by actual or expectant homeownership.”

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Californians divided on how to fix housing

The Mercury News
By Louis Hansen [June 19, 2019]

Californians might agree there’s a housing crisis, but they’re split widely on how to tackle it, according to a poll released Tuesday by UC Berkeley. 

Slightly more than half of residents say the state needs to exert more control over local development decisions to address the deepening housing shortage, a survey by the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies found. However, 47% of Californians disagree. Bay Area residents favored more state involvement by a 14% margin, 56% to 42%.

“It’s an almost even split,” said Mark Di-Camillo, director of Berkeley IGS. “This is something that strikes a political nerve. It stirs passions.”

The divided public opinion mirrors a similar divide in the state legislature in Sacramento. Efforts to increase state control over local development have stalled for two years, including an ambitious overhaul of housing policy proposed by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco. The measure, SB 50, would have forced cities to build more housing and allowed denser development along busy transit routes. 

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SB 50 in limbo?

Food for thought ….SB50 is banished to the realm of the undead…. long live SB 50…. cities fear loss of control…. but lack the will…. bitter medicine perhaps…. looky how things have changed…. a zip code look at our housing crisis…. an interactive exposé…. cities triple down on fees…. supply and demand dysfunction…. make the scare commodity more expensive


Major California housing bill from Sen. Scott Wiener put on hold until 2020

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
By Alexei Koseff [May 16, 2019]

State lawmakers dealt a sharp setback Thursday to a San Francisco senator’s efforts to spur denser housing around public transit and in residential neighborhoods, shelving until 2020 a high-profile bill that would curtail local governments’ ability to block certain apartment and condominium projects.

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[INTERACTIVE] The Price We Pay

The Mercury News
By Katy Murphy and Kaitlyn Bartley [April 28, 2019]

Using an exclusive ZIP code-level analysis, we show how little most Bay Area families can afford — and how the housing crisis is transforming the region we call home.

Every evening after they say goodnight to their teenage daughter and wrangle their two sons off screens and into bed, Trevor and Jeneca Crump steal a moment for themselves. They turn on the nightly news. She plays Candy Crush on her phone. Then they lower themselves onto a makeshift bed of camping pads on the living room floor.

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California Nearly Triple the National Average: City fees an obstacle to development

BAY AREA NEWS GROUP
By Louis Hansen [May 8, 2019]

Property manager and new developer Jeff Zell wanted to convert a recreation room into two studios in a San Jose apartment building he owns.

But a project he thought would take a few months and $75,000 has turned into a two-year, nearly $200,000 odyssey of frustration, fees and false starts. City charges almost killed the project, Zell said.

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