Oregon May Strip Portland of Its NIMBY Powers

From June 19, 2007: A controversial bill before the state legislature would preempt cities’ rights to prevent new affordable housing.

People can’t afford to be poor in Portland, Oregon. Nearly half of the households that rent in the Portland metro area pay too much. Almost one-quarter (24.3 percent) of these households are severely cost burdened, meaning half of their household income goes to keeping a roof over their heads.

Despite money and effort, homelessness in SF as bad as ever

On the face of it, San Francisco’s homeless problem should have improved dramatically over the past year.

After all, last summer Mayor Ed Lee formed the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing to focus on the city’s most perplexing problem.

The city spent $275 million on homelessness and supportive housing in the fiscal year that ends Friday, up from $241 million the year before.

The Unaffordable Urban Paradise

From June 20, 2017:  Tech startups helped turn a handful of metro areas into megastars. Now they’re tearing those cities apart.

In the 1980s, I was part of a team doing research into the geography of the high-tech industry. We couldn’t find a single significant high-tech company in an urban neighborhood. Instead, they were all out in the suburbs—not just Intel and Apple in Silicon Valley,

Downzoning won’t make housing cheaper

The fallacy of composition leads people to get the connection between density and affordability backwards

Our good friend at Strong Towns, Chuck Marohn is utterly right about a great many things. But he’s committed a classic Kotkinesque blunder when it comes to evaluating the connection between density and home prices.

An unceasing housing crisis

California’s housing crisis isn’t easing anytime soon.

That’s the message from the latest Anderson forecast, a quarterly economic analysis from UCLA…

Streamlining the state’s regressive zoning and development laws in exchange for the housing we need is not an easy compromise for state legislators, but it’s a wise one. The alternative is the status quo — a housing crisis that’s pricing out more and more Californians.

Berkeley Says It’s Standing Up to Trump, But It’s Actually Busy Arguing About Zucchini

This story was originally published by Slate and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

How America’s most progressive cities are making global warming worse.

On June 1, the US Climate Mayors—a network of more than 300 city leaders, including the mayors of the country’s five largest cities—published a commitment to “adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement.” The cities would carry out the promises Donald Trump had abandoned.

Think rent is high in California? Here’s why it probably will get higher

If you’re a renter in California concerned about the high cost of living here, or looking to purchase your first home, your prospects aren’t looking up.

Projections show rents will continue to surge, especially for low- and middle-income people in places like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, and home prices will become increasingly expensive, according to an economic analysis in the Anderson Forecast from the University of California, Los Angeles, released this month.


“It was already bad before, but it’s getting worse,”

The Clear and Present Danger of Supply Skepticism

From January-March 2017

There is no doubt that public policy needs to grapple with the challenges that our low-income households face in gentrifying neighborhoods, and the ways in which racial discrimination and inequality affect the causes and consequences of those challenges.

Portland’s Green Dividend

When you build a city that enables people to drive less, they spend less on cars and gas and have more to spend on other things.

Here is my 2007 report, published by CEOs for Cities, which describes Portland’s Green Dividend–the additional income that Portland area residents have to spend because they drive fewer miles than the typical American urban dweller.