Wednesday, October 16, 2019

CA Changing the rules for Affordable Housing

California Governor Gavin Newsom last week signed 18 housing bills to boost production of affordable housing.


These include a bill that limit cities’ ability to block new construction, a bill to make it easier to build accessory dwelling units or ADUs, also known as granny flats, and a bill that will limit “downzoning,” the practice of reducing the number of units that can be built in a residential area.

So does all this mean the housing crisis is solved?

One of the main reasons affordable housing can cost more to build than market-rate housing is because of all the requirements attached to using public money, which architects and developers need in order to make a project pencil out.

These are so-called “soft costs” and they were ridiculed even by comedian Bill Maher in his New Rules who said that when HHH was passed in 2016, housing units were projected to cost $140,000 and now “the cost for each unit has risen to 531k... about 40 percent of that cost goes to something the city calls soft costs. And I call BS costs. Layer upon layer of middlemen: inspectors, contractors, lawyers, lobbyists and, oh yes, labor unions too, and my favorite, consulting…”

CLICK HERE to read the entire KCRW Design and Architecture article

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