Tag: nn-roundup-mar-2019

Local housing policies across California: Results of a new statewide survey

College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley, February 4, 2019

The Terner Center’s “residential land use survey [was conducted] in California from August 2017 to October 2018.” The survey analyzed responses from “252 incorporated places and 19 unincorporated county areas [to] questions on local zoning, approval processes, affordable housing policies, and rental regulations.” Here, from their 61-page descriptive report, are just a few “highlights [of] the survey findings” from the Executive Summary:


  • “… [v]ery little land is zoned to allow for multifamily housing.
  • “Exceptions to zoning regulations … are most commonly requested to reduce multifamily parking requirements or to increase how much housing can be built on a lot … .”
  • “Most jurisdictions allow for some type of by-right development … but cities often limit the size of by-right projects to five or fewer units. … ”
  • “About half of California jurisdictions report that they made their zoning codes less restrictive over time, but [roughly] 10 percent made their zoning codes more restrictive.

“Approval process

  • [While] “… project applications have a strong chance of approval, permitting, and completion … multifamily projects have somewhat lower success rates compared to single-family projects.
  • “… In many jurisdictions, fees vary so much that planners cannot effectively estimate the total costs of the fees for a development project.
  • [While] “… proposed housing developments attract both local citizen support and opposition, … planners indicate that elected officials almost always support residential development.

“Affordable housing policies

  • “Far more projects were built under local inclusionary policies than under state density bonus law.” Read more here.

Chicago buildings combine libraries, mixed-income housing

WTTW Chicago, January 24, 2019

Evan Garcia • Chicago has “two new buildings that combine libraries and affordable housing. A collaboration between the Chicago Public Library, which has 81 locations throughout the city, and the Chicago Housing Authority [aims to provide] housing and educational opportunities under the same roof.”

Screen capture from WTTW video

One new “building offers 44 senior apartments, 30 Chicago Housing Authority units, and 14 affordable units in Irving Park; [the second has] 29 affordable apartments, 37 CHA units, and 7 market-rate units in Little Italy.

“Another mixed-use building [will] open later this year on the city’s North Side.

“The monthly rent for both CHA and affordable apartment units are set at 60 percent of the area’s median income — occupants of CHA units are eligible for further rent assistance through vouchers.

“The buildings were designed by some of Chicago’s top architects chosen from a design competition held by the city.

“ ‘The design of these buildings is beautiful, but also allows for the evolution of the kinds of library services long into the future,’ said Chicago Public Library Commissioner and CEO Brian Bannon.

“The libraries will offer high-tech programming including 3D printing, virtual reality, and robotics.” Read more here.

Hat tip to Fay Darmawi.