November 11, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – Fix global warming or cook dinner on a gas stove?

That’s the choice for people in 13 cities and one county in California that have enacted new zoning codes encouraging or requiring all-electric new construction.  

The codes, most of them passed since June, are meant to keep builders from running natural gas lines to new homes and apartments, with an eye toward creating fewer legacy g...

September 11, 2019

Image from shuttershock 

The California State Senate approved the final version of Berkeley-based State Sen. Nancy Skinner’s “Housing Crisis Act of 2019” last week, a new law that “suspends local practices that are documented obstacles to housing production” such as housing moratoriums and certain fees.

Since the Assembly also passed the bill, dubbed SB 330, earlier in the week, that leaves it clear for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk...

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors quashed Mayor London Breed’s proposed charter amendment Thursday that aimed to streamline the approval of affordable housing projects. Breed needed the support of the majority of supervisors to get the plan on the November ballot. She didn’t get it.

Breed’s proposal sought to eliminate some bureaucratic steps in the process of approving affordable and teacher housing, such as the public’s...

Oregon just staked its claim as the state that’s most aggressively trying to address affordable housing.

The Beaver State passed what’s effectively a state-wide ban on single-family zoning on Sunday, the last day of a dramatic legislative session that saw Oregon Senate Republicans flee the state to avoid a vote on a cap-and-trade climate bill.

Political theatrics didn’t derail House Bill 2001, however. Three of the eig...

June 21, 2019

It's gotten a lot harder for first-time homebuyers to nab that dream house. The pool of smaller, affordable starter houses is low. And increasingly, first-time homebuyers are competing with investors who are buying up these homes.

Last year, investors accounted for 1 in 5 starter-priced homes, according to data released by CoreLogic on Thursday. The rate of investor purchases of starter homes has been rising and has nearly doub...

It was March 13, 1874, when San Francisco first lost its soul.

At least that’s what it said on The San Francisco Chronicle letters page, where an irate reader was protesting plans for the Palace Hotel — the new tallest building in San Francisco. At all of seven stories and 120 feet, the unnamed author said, it would block views and be a blight on the skyline for generations.

“It may be too late, but we hope not, to improve on th...

WESTPORT, Conn. — A dirt field overgrown with weeds is the incongruous entrance to one of America’s wealthiest towns, a short walk to a Rodeo Drive-like stretch replete with upscale stores such as Tiffany & Co.

But this sad patch of land is also the physical manifestation of a broader turf war over what type of housing — and ultimately what type of people — to allow within Westport’s borders.

It started when a developer known fo...

California’s 2018 population growth was the slowest in state history, new demographic data show — underscoring shifting immigration patterns, declining birthrates and economic strains that are making it harder for some to afford living here.

The state added 186,807 residents last year, bringing the estimated total population to 39,927,315 as of Jan. 1, according to estimates released by the state Department of Finance on Wednes...

here has never been a town like the one San Francisco is becoming, a place where a single industry composed almost entirely of rich people thoroughly dominates the local economy. Much of the money that’s been squished out of the rest of the world gets funneled by the internet pipes to this little sliver of land on the Pacific Ocean, jutting out into the glory of the bay. The city now sits atop a geyser of cash created from wha...

San Francisco is now the world’s most expensive place to build.

The city’s construction costs rose 5% last year, and it’s now more pricey than New York, according to a report released Thursday by consulting company Turner & Townsend.

Costs rose amid demand for new buildings from the booming tech sector, plus a severe construction labor shortage and a spike in steel prices attributed to U.S. and China tariffs. Rising costs a...

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