California falling short in creating affordable housing, new ‘report card’ shows
The Real Deal – November 29
According to the Southern California News Group’s third annual housing permit report card, California cities and counties didn’t permit nearly enough housing last year to keep pace with the state’s production goals, and much of what they approved wasn’t affordable to most residents. Jurisdictions reported issuing about 109,000 housing permits last year, about three-quarters of what they would have needed to issue to meet state mandates to provide housing for people of all income levels. More than 70 percent of those permitted units would be affordable only to higher-income households, while the rest are in reach for those making moderate and low incomes.
San Diego adopts new policy eliminating parking requirements for many businesses
The San Diego Union-Tribune – November 16
San Diego took the bold and controversial step last Tuesday of wiping out parking requirements for businesses in many neighborhoods to accelerate efforts to make the city less car-reliant and more climate-friendly. The City Council unanimously approved the elimination of parking requirements for businesses located near mass transit or in small plazas near dense residential areas. New businesses in those areas would no longer have to provide any parking spaces for customers or staff, and existing businesses could immediately transform their parking spots into outdoor dining or extra retail space.
Fremont pumping millions into affordable housing projects
The Mercury News – November 14
In a city where the average home sells for about $1.4 million, and where hundreds of homeless people sleep each night in tents, RVs, and cars, Fremont city officials have put up more than $27 million to help create more than 400 affordable apartments in three different proposed housing projects. The Fremont City Council’s unanimous vote on November 2 to back the projects will help chip away at a regional housing production goal assigned to the city to help combat the Bay Area’s housing crisis.
Is wood the new concrete?
GreenBiz – November 22
New technology in what’s called "mass timber" production offers a carbon-cutting alternative to concrete and steel in the building sector. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of wood as a building material, advocates say that using timber can substantially reduce the building sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. Microsoft is updating its campus in Silicon Valley, using timber with its carbon and other eco benefits in mind. At 644,000 square feet, the campus will be the largest mass timber project in North America.