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Sustainable Communities or the Next Urban Renewal?

Inadequate housing supply in California’s most expensive metro areas drives a statewide housing crisis that challenges climate policy implementation, fair housing goals, and poverty reduction. Many scholars and policy makers agree that increasing dense infill transit-oriented residential development (TOD) in high-cost metro areas could address this housing crisis while also mitigating the impacts of climate change. But some advocates and scholars liken state policy that promotes TOD to twentieth century urban renewal—contending that state-incentivized TOD disproportionately displaces lower income communities. To explore this issue, and to examine the relative influence of both state law promoting TOD and local law regulating land use in generating inequitable outcomes like displacement, we collected land use and housing data from high- cost cities across California. 

Jun 25, 2021
Moira O’Neill, Giulia Gualco-Nelson & Eric Biber

Leveraging California’s Hospitals for Housing Preservation: Progress and Opportunities

As part of their role as anchor institutions rooted in place, hospitals have invested in communities for decades. While past efforts have been piecemeal, hospitals are now driving strategies to finance, build, and preserve affordable housing. This article looks at why and how hospitals have contributed to housing preservation strategies in order to highlight new opportunities to address California’s worsening housing crisis.

Jun 25, 2021
Renee Roy Elias, PhD

Making It Work: Legal Foundations for Administrative Reform of California’s Housing Framework

Since 1980, California has had an ambitious planning framework on the books to make local governments accommodate their fair share of regionally needed housing. The framework long relied, however, on a rickety and complicated conveyor belt for converting regional housing targets into actual production. Superintending the conveyor belt was an administrative entity, the Department of Housing and Community Development, whose rules had no legal effect, and whose judgments about the adequacy of a local government’s housing plan received virtually no deference from the courts. This Article contends that the Department’s position has been fundamentally transformed by a series of individually modest but complementary bills enacted from 2017 to 2019.

Jun 25, 2021
Christopher S. Elmendorf, Eric Biber, Paavo Monkkonen, & Moira O’Neill

Destabilizing Environmental Regulation: The Trump Administration’s Concerted Attack on Regulatory Analysis

Occasionally during his presidency, Donald Trump has suggested that he cares deeply about clean air and water, even as he expresses deep skepticism about climate change. But the specifics of Trump’s deregulatory approach tell a different story. The Trump administration has undertaken a series of regulatory moves to weaken the analytical foundation for clean air and water regulations. These moves seek to eliminate or undercut precisely those regulations that bring the biggest health benefits. The clean air regulations under the Clean Air Act, which account for the overwhelming majority of all quantified and monetized benefits of all federal regulation, are under significant threat.

Mar 12, 2021
Richard L. Revesz