"Winners and losers from rent control"

City Observatory | October 30, 2017

A new study of San Francisco’s rent control shows it raises rents for some

Rent control is a perennially contentious issue. Many housing activists see it as a logical and direct way to make housing more affordable. Economists are almost unanimous that it makes things worse by promoting disinvestment and decreasing supply.


"Signs of the times"

City Observatory | October 26, 2017

“For Rent” signs are popping up all over Portland, signaling an easing of the housing crunch and foretelling falling rents

A year ago, in the height of the political season in deep blue Portland (in a county which voted 76 percent for Hillary Clinton) only one thing was rarer than Donald Trump lawn signs:  For Rent signs.


"Developer continues push for efficiency in affordable housing"

Portland Tribune | October 20, 2017

From Sept 2015

Rob Justus has just finished another apartment complex in East Portland — 78 one- and two-bedroom units that rent for $395 to $775 a month. The building cost developer Justus and his bankroller, the nonprofit Portland Habilitation Center, about $5 million to build.

What’s remarkable about the new development, at Southeast 171st Avenue and Division Street, is the math. Justus built at a little under $65,000 per apartment. As a result of keeping building costs low, PHC is able to charge rents that are about half the market rate for comparable apartments in that neighborhood.


"Western SoMa Target, CVS and Starbucks Closer to Reality"

SocketSite | October 18, 2017

The formal application to convert the former Sports Authority building at 1690 Folsom Street into a full-service Target has been filed with Planning.

The conversion wouldn’t require an expansion of the 40,000-square-foot building nor a major change to the building’s façade, save new signage.


"Why is “affordable” housing so expensive to build?"

City Observatory | October 18, 2017

The high price of affordable housing

It’s a problem that isn’t going away: the so-called “affordable” housing we’re building in many cities–by which we mean publicly subsidized housing that’s dedicated to low and moderate income households–is so expensive to build that we’ll never be able to build enough of it to make a dent in the housing affordability problem.


"Housing affordability: A supply-side tool kit for cities"

McKinsey Global Institute | October 16, 2017

Global housing stock has not expanded quickly enough to keep up with a surge in demand, but cities can focus on three supply-side solutions to make progress.

One feeling unites billions of people in cities around the world: a sense of sticker shock whenever they attempt to find a new home. From London to Lagos, housing costs are creating financial stress for a large share of the world’s urban residents.


"The constancy of change in neighborhood populations"

City Observatory | October 9, 2017

Neighborhoods are always changing; half of all renters move every two years.

There’s a subtle perceptual bias that underlies many of the stories about gentrification and neighborhood change. The canonical journalistic account of gentrification focuses on the observable fact that different people now live in a neighborhood than used to live there at some previous time.


"McNellis: Housing Crisis Band-Aids"

The Registry | October 7, 2017

Governor Jerry Brown just signed fifteen affordable-housing bills into law. A few might do a little good. Two senate bills will raise a bit of money. Senate Bill 2 will charge you a recording fee of up to $225 on any transaction not already subject to a transfer tax (e.g. a mortgage refinance) and Senate Bill 3 is a $4 billion housing bond.


"Editorial: Housing costs are pushing millions of Californians into poverty"

SF Chronicle | October 3, 2017

The cost of housing is so high in California, it’s pushing millions of people into poverty.

This isn’t hyperbole. When the cost of living is weighed, California has had the highest poverty rate in the country for years — more than 20 percent of residents, or nearly 8 million people.


"Rise of the yimbys: the angry millennials with a radical housing solution"

The Guardian | October 2, 2017

They see themselves as progressive housing activists. Critics call them stooges for luxury developers. Meet the new band of millennials who are priced out of cities and shouting: ‘Yes in my back yard’

When a woman stood up and waved a courgette in the air at a City of Berkeley council meeting this summer, complaining that a new housing development would block the sunlight from her zucchini garden, she probably felt confident that the community was on her side.