Debrief: California housing wars

California's housing crisis has created a series of housing wars across the state.

California's housing crisis has created a series of housing wars across the state.

ABC10 recently featured a story on the growing YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) movement, made up primarily of millennials, who fight to reduce rent prices by promoting development in our state's most popular cities. 

When I moved to Sacramento a year ago, most people hyped the city's closeness to places where you would actually want to be, particularly the Bay Area. Exactly one year later, almost all of my Bay Area friends and acquaintances have mentioned other friends who "just relocated to Sacramento."

The observation is not just anecdotal, SF Gate and The Sacramento Bee highlighted the trend this week, as did ABC 10's Morning Blend. This wave of displacement, pushed by the lack of affordable housing in Bay area cities, is rooted in the unwillingness of some cities and counties to build their share of new housing.

This, experts say, is why Sacramento's rents are rising faster than anywhere else in the country.

An extensive LA Times investigation published earlier this week reports on the ways cities and counties have circumvented having to build new housing, a problem the state is now trying to solve by way of Senator Scott Weiner’s Housing Accountability Act. 
 
Despite pressures at the state level, cities like Berkeley are moving in the opposite direction, with recent efforts to downzone.
 
Lori Droste, a Berkeley City Council member says,"The mayor has proposed to downzone, which means that fewer units would be able to be built in Berkeley and also asks the city to consider quantifying shadow impacts and views. So, literally saying that the view from a particular spot in Berkeley shouldn’t change."
 
This is the kind of opposition that has pushed YIMBY groups, like Brian Hanlon's CaRLA, to pressure cities and counties by way of lawsuits.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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