"Public Housing Becomes the Latest Progressive Fantasy"

The Atlantic | November 25, 2019

A new generation of activists seeks to revive an old urban policy, despite its troubled history.

“…Housing for low-income communities consisted of small homes and buildings, close together—rowhouses in Philadelphia, three-decker homes in New England, walk-up apartments in New York.

Rooming houses abounded. In the years since then, new housing of this nature has been zoned or otherwise regulated out of existence…”

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"Myth of the Silicon Valley garage, and loss of a dream"

SF Chronicle | November 24, 2019

In the technical, secular Silicon Valley, one temple commands a following. The famous garage.

On a recent Saturday, drenched in California sunshine, I visited three. First, the garage in which Hewlett and Packard first collaborated, on a quiet suburban street in Palo Alto not far from where I live. Their company HP would go on to become the largest manufacturer of personal computers.

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"The city as labor saving device"

City Observatory | November 14, 2019

Great cities, especially ones with dense, walkable mixed use neighborhoods are an economic boon to households because they save the precious commodity of time

Stories of economic progress appropriately revolve around major technological breakthroughs.

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"Capsule living: a ‘cheap’ option for young people flocking to LA"

Yahoo News | November 11, 2019

Los Angeles (AFP) – Kay Wilson packed up her life in a hurry and moved to Los Angeles… only to find that what she paid in Pennsylvania for a nice studio apartment would only get her a 2.9-square-meter box in California.

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"Are Micro-Apartments a Solution for Affordable Housing?"

Realtor Magazine | November 9, 2019

Patrick Kennedy knows how outlandish real estate prices in the Bay Area have become. Owner and president of Panoramic Interests, a development company, Kennedy has seen the cost per square foot of a high-rise in San Francisco go from $272 in 2001 to $833 today. Construction costs in the Bay Area are the highest in the world, he said Friday at the Commercial Economic Issues & Trends Forum during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

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"San Francisco’s housing crisis needs political will"

Financial Times | November 8, 2019

State government still has to pull its weight in changing zoning laws

In 1848, it was the lustre of gold which lured thousands to California. Today, cutting-edge technology is the Golden State’s draw, especially in the Bay Area. But Silicon Valley’s limited housing supply is squeezing out locals.

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"How California Became America’s Housing Market Nightmare"

Bloomberg | November 6, 2019

California, the land of golden dreams, has become America’s worst housing nightmare.

Recent wildfires have only heightened the stakes for a state that can’t seem to build enough new homes.

The median price for a house now tops $600,000, more than twice the national level. The state has four of the country’s five most expensive residential markets—Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Orange County and San Diego. (Los Angeles is seventh.) The poverty rate, when adjusted for the cost of living, is the worst in the nation. California accounts for 12% of the U.S. population, but a quarter of its homeless population.

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"Apple wants affordable housing in California—but laws stand in the way"

arsTechnica | November 4, 2019

California can’t end its housing crisis without an overhaul of zoning rules.

Apple has pledged $2.5 billion to help address California’s affordable-housing crisis, the company announced on Monday. In recent years, the San Francisco Bay Area has become the most expensive housing market in America. Los Angeles also suffers from housing costs far above the national average.

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"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…”

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"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. …”

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