California panel backs solar mandate for new buildings
The New York Times – August 12
California regulators voted last Wednesday to require builders to include solar power and battery storage in many new commercial structures as well as high-rise residential projects. The five-member California Energy Commission approved the proposal unanimously. It will now be taken up by the state’s Building Standards Commission, which is expected to include it in an overall revision of the building code in December. The energy plan, which would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, also calls for new homes to be wired in ways that ease and even encourage conversion of natural-gas heating and appliances to electric sources.
L.A. City Council sets goal to add 25,000 units of homeless housing by 2025
L.A. Daily News – August 10
The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion last Tuesday, setting a goal of creating at least 25,000 new housing units for homeless individuals in the city by 2025. The motion, which passed 13-0, was introduced by Council member Kevin de Leon as part of his “A Way Home” initiative on January 13. It seeks to create resources including but not limited to permanent supportive housing and Project Homekey, as well as scattered site housing, tiny homes, and safe parking, and other resources that don’t qualify for the city’s regional housing needs assessment goal as required by the state.
As climate change reaches ‘code red,’ Irvine becomes first city in O.C. to pledge carbon neutrality
Daily Pilot – August 11
With the Irvine City Council’s unanimous approval of an aggressive climate resolution last Tuesday, the city became the first in Orange County to make a pledge of carbon neutrality. As California begins exploring ways to become carbon neutral by 2035, cities are faced with quickly adopting their own climate action plans to help the state achieve its goal. The Irvine ACHIEVES resolution, which calls for the city to reach a zero-carbon economy by 2030, will guide its climate action plan.
Bay Area mayors and advocates urge Congress to invest in housing
San Jose Spotlight – August 10
Local lawmakers and housing advocates are calling on Congress to invest in more housing to help end homelessness and housing insecurity in the Bay Area. A coalition of more than 20 city officials, nonprofits, and philanthropy organizations sent a letter to the region’s congressional delegation Tuesday. It urges federal lawmakers to address the ongoing housing shortage by expanding the housing voucher program, investing in affordable housing, and strengthening the low-income housing tax credit. The call to action from the coalition came after a regional task force identified affordable housing as a critical priority for Bay Area cities recovering from the pandemic.
L.A. City Council members are pushing for an electric vehicle 'master plan'
dot.LA – August 10
Last Friday, Los Angeles City Council members Paul Krekorian (District 2) and Mitch O'Farrell (District 13) introduced a motion to create an electric vehicle master plan for Los Angeles, effectively bringing together all of the existing moves by the city and the L.A. Department of Water and Power to create a "roadmap" for electrification of vehicles. The master plan is intended to lead into the LA100 study to get the city entirely on renewable energy sources as soon as 2035. Their motion came days before the U.S. Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations.