S.F. prioritized building homes for the ‘missing middle.’ 80% of units sit empty

S.F. prioritized building homes for the ‘missing middle.’ 80% of units sit empty

By J.K. Dineen
April 21, 2024

For years, San Francisco politicians and housing advocates have fought for the creation of “missing middle” housing for workers with incomes high enough to be middle class in most markets, but who are often priced out of the famously expensive city.

But developers who have recently built apartments aimed at moderate-income families in San Francisco have discovered a harsh reality: The missing middle seems to have gone missing.

It’s not just skyscrapers and high-density — ‘builder’s remedy’ is also bringing more urban sprawl

It’s not just skyscrapers and high-density — ‘builder’s remedy’ is also bringing more urban sprawl

By Kate Talerico
April 21, 2024

In southern Santa Clara County, an orchard could be razed for 320 single-family homes. On a pasture on the northern edge of Benicia, cows could give way to 1,080 houses. On a road cutting through Sonoma County wine country, there could soon be traffic from 514 homes. Homebuilders are proposing these houses — and thousands more — on farmland and grassy hills on the outskirts of the Bay Area. And because of state housing law, local governments may be powerless to stop them

It’s not just skyscrapers and high-density — ‘builder’s remedy’ is also bringing more urban sprawl

Live in a single-family home? This Bay Area company wants to give you $100,000 for the yard space you’re not using

By KATE TALERICO
April 5, 2024

In recent years, California lawmakers have approved a flurry of legislation aimed at increasing the housing supply and addressing the state’s decades-in-the-making housing crisis. Senate Bill 9, passed in 2021, is one such change: it allows single-family homeowners around the state to split their lots in two, and build two homes on each lot. An analysis by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley estimated that the new law could result in 700,000 new homes.

It’s not just skyscrapers and high-density — ‘builder’s remedy’ is also bringing more urban sprawl

A wealthy Peninsula town is dragging its feet on building housing, state says. Now, it faces consequences.

By KATE TALERICO
April 2, 2024

The town is the first to have its housing element decertified by the state, which means it loses out on key state infrastructure funds. Wealthy Portola Valley earlier this year became one of the first towns in San Mateo County to receive state approval for its plan to build more housing.
Department says that plan isn’t worth anything if the city isn’t following through on it — and, as it turns out, Portola Valley isn’t.

California’s most controversial housing law could get a makeover

California’s most controversial housing law could get a makeover

by CalMatters
April 2, 2024 11:00 am

For the last two years the “builder’s remedy” has been the unruly teenager of California housing laws.
Now, some of California’s most powerful Democratic lawmakers are pushing legislation that would clear up, but also rein in, the state’s most controversial housing statute. Nearly a year and a half since a developer first used the law to propose a zoning-code-blowing project, 2024 may be the year that the builder’s remedy grows up.