"It’s the End of California as We Know It"

The New York Times | October 30, 2019

The fires and the blackouts are connected to a larger problem in this state: a failure to live sustainably.

“…If we redesigned our cities for the modern world, they’d be taller and less stretched out into the fire-prone far reaches — what scientists call the wildland-urban interface. Housing would be affordable because there’d be more of it. You’d be able to get around more cheaply because we’d ditch cars and turn to buses and trains and other ways we know how to move around a lot of people at high speeds, for low prices. It wouldn’t be the end of the California dream, but a reconceptualization — not as many endless blocks of backyards and swimming pools, but perhaps a new kind of more livable, more accessible life for all…”


"California Is Becoming Unlivable"

The Atlantic | October 30, 2019

The state is plagued by two major issues: wildfires and a lack of affordable housing. Each problem exacerbates the other.

“…One solution to the state’s twin problems is to build more dense housing in urban areas: An aggressive infill-building push would lower rental prices and shift the state’s population to less fire-prone areas, as well as help reduce carbon emissions. …”


"California’s intense fire seasons expose poor planning decisions"

SF Chronicle | October 29, 2019

One is an instance. Two may be a coincidence. Three annual fire seasons? In a row?

Climate change has given us this grim new time of year, and its rhythm warns us that it will not operate on a leisurely schedule. George Carlin quipped that it’s called the American Dream because you’ve got to be asleep to believe it.


"Yes, even the Warriors get San Francisco sticker shock: ‘It doesn’t feel real’"

SF Chronicle | October 25, 2019

Warriors guard Jacob Evans’ welcome-to-San Francisco moment came in late August.

While calculating his expenses, he realized that, between utilities and rent, he will spend about $7,900 each month on housing. That might not seem steep for someone set to earn $1.9 million this season, but Evans grew up in a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Baton Rouge, La., that cost $575 a month.


"Does walkability promote economic mobility?"

City Observatory | October 22, 2019

A new study shows a tantalizing connection between more walkable places and intergenerational economic mobility

City Observatory readers will be familiar with the findings of Raj Chetty and his colleagues in the Equality of Opportunity Project. In a revelatory use of big data, they used anonymized tax records to track the lifetime earnings of kids growing up across the United States.



Sightline Institute | October 11, 2019

The city’s analysis shows that the need to build parking is catastrophic for housing affordability.

“… Mandating off-street parking, … requires a judgment that housing cars is more important than housing people.”


"Group Living Gets More Affordable, in 30 Square Feet"

The Wall Street Journal | October 8, 2019

Some shared quarters forgo perks while others shrink private square footage to the size of tanning bed

“…UP(st)ART compensates for teh added costs by packing residents in like crew members on a cruise ship in 30-square foot pods.  They rent for about $750 a month…”


"Three Years And Zero Homeless Housing Units Later, LA’s Auditor Looks At Prop HHH Money"

Laist | October 8, 2019

The city of Los Angeles is spending more taxpayer money than expected to build fewer apartments for the homeless. That’s the conclusion of a new audit of Proposition HHH, the 2016 bond measure that was intended to fund 10,000 new units of supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.


"Audit Finds Cost of Building Supportive Housing in L.A. Exceeds Median Price of a Market-Rate Condo"

Reason | October 8, 2019

Los Angeles is spending $600,000 per unit on building affordable and supportive housing for homeless residents.


"New Research Analyzes Affordable Rental Housing in High Opportunity Areas"

Novogradac | October 7, 2019

It is systematic barriers, not pure preference, that prevent lower-income families from moving to areas of high opportunity, according to research released by Brookings at a Sept. 19 event. This new research from Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights serves as a reminder of the importance of affordable housing in areas of high opportunity.