A nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California’s policies and politics

HOUSING


A simple question, a complicated answer. Ahead of a possible 2018 ballot initiative that could dramatically expand rent control, Matt and Liam explain who benefits and who loses under economists’ least favorite housing policy.

A few months back, we created an explainer to answer two questions: How bad is California’s housing crisis, and how did it get so bad? We tried to cover as much ground as possible—from affordable housing funding to Proposition 13 to why no one else in your apartment building cleans out the lint filter after using the communal dryer. But we knew we couldn’t get to everything. So we asked readers “What did we miss? What questions do you still have about California’s certifiably insane housing market that we didn’t answer?”

You can also subscribe to us on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Overcast. What makes or breaks good housing policy? The wonky details. This week, Matt and Liam break down the ins and outs of all...

While California tops the list of states with insane housing costs, it’s by no means a uniquely Golden State phenomenon. Building affordable housing—and particularly getting cities and other localities to permit its construction—is a tough endeavor that has bedeviled state policymakers across the country. So where should Californians look to solve a problem that feels so intractable? Affordable housing experts suggest legislators find inspiration in Massachusetts. For more than 40 years, the state’s signature affordable housing policy—Massachusetts “40B”—has served as a model for how states can motivate and sometimes bully reluctant localities into meeting their fair share of affordable housing.

The California dream isn’t dead. It just upped and moved to South Dakota. Less than half of people born in California in 1980 are making more money than their parents did as young adults. That’s the...

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