Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 31, 2019

Year of the YIMBY

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

From San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed:

Add to that a lawsuit filed by the State against Huntington Beach:

The state’s housing department found Huntington Beach out of compliance with state law in 2015, and the Newsom administration alleges the city hasn’t since acted to approve enough land for low-income units.

Although the city approved a housing plan in 2013 that met state standards, the city council altered the document two years later in a manner that reduced the number of housing units that could be built in the city,the lawsuit alleges. Newsom argues that effectively prevented construction of enough affordable units to comply with state law.

And it looks like we’ll have some leaders in California who are looking to lead the way on easing the housing crisis via any means necessary.

It would be nice to see Alameda examine a by-right affordable housing.  It’s something everyone, even NIMBYs claim that we should be encouraging over market rate housing, allow affordable housing developments to not jump through all of the entitlement hoops would be a great first step.



  1. I would also like to see the city endorse SB50.

    Comment by Angela — January 31, 2019 @ 6:39 am

  2. Speaking of YIMBYs, a new study out this week finds that upzoning INCREASES housing costs, DECREASES affordability and has NO EFFECT on the amount of housing units. The study also found that reducing parking requirements had the same negative effects, i.e., the opposite of the predominant NIMBY theory and narrative.

    In other words, according to the study (by a doctoral student at MIT), upzoning and restricting parking tend to produce all the bad parts of gentrification without any of potentially offsetting positive effects that YIMBYs say make the YIMBY policy stance worthwhile.

    It is of course only one study and it was based on Chicago (not the Bay Area), but the study does raise important questions about a complex set of variables. At a minimum, it should remind policymakers and activists to always re-examine foundational assumptions when new information and insights become available, especially when so much is at stake, since unintended consequences of well intentioned but misguided policies can cause significant harm.

    As the study’s Abstract puts it: “I demonstrate that the short-term, local-level impacts of upzoning are higher property prices but no additional new housing construction.”

    Comment by Moderate — January 31, 2019 @ 3:04 pm

  3. Oh my gosh, you did it -good for you -the YIMBY movement is destroyed. Or maybe instead, this is a valuable study that shows that upzoning ALONE is not a great solution, which is why the approaches that MTC have taken with their Casa Compact will be more fruitful. The Casa Compact isn’t just about upzoning, it’s about ensuring that sensitive communities have a say in the development of their neighborhoods. It’s about providing tenant protections including rent control and just cause eviction. It’s also about making sure that entire regions (not just individual neighborhoods) have an obligation to build enough housing for their growing populations.

    I would also like to point out that there were tons of unintended consequences of the NIMBY movement and its tendency towards zero growth: our current housing shortage and its attendant crisis.

    Comment by Angela — January 31, 2019 @ 4:31 pm

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