By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Can we make housing more affordable in U.S. cities simply by building more homes? Home builder lobbies and research think tanks, such as Urban Land Institute, say, yes. The only way to make housing more affordable, is to increase supply. But opponents of new development argue that decades of development planning has only created more density, less livable cities, and housing that’s more expensive than ever. Who’s right? Who’s Continue ReadingHousing affordability crisis made worse by oversupply of expensive condo HOA homes
By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities California’s controversial Senate Bill 50 has been tabled until 2020. The bill was killed when Sen. Anthony Portantino (D), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that it would not be discussed in committee this legislative session session. Portantino reportedly opposed SB 50, because its policies would override local government zoning rules. Many neighborhoods in California zone entire neighborhoods for single family homes only. For analysis of the pros and Continue ReadingCalifornia lawmakers block transit-oriented housing density bill
By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities HOA-industry trade groups promote housing development governed by homeowners and condominium associations as sustainable communities. But don’t be fooled. Those claims are nothing more than public relations and marketing hype. The truth is, most “community associations” succumb to a variety of problems and crises that lead to their slow, painful decline and ultimate death. Today I’ll highlight two examples. Camelot burns to the ground, but HOA still collects Continue ReadingThe slow, painful deaths of HOA & condo associations
By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities A highly controversial affordable housing legislative proposal, SB 50, is making waves in California. This week, the legislation introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) cleared its first Senate committee, with some amendments. If the hotly debated legislation passes both houses and gets Governor Newsome’s approval, SB 50 could increase property rights and remove local control of cities and counties. According to an LA Times report, several provisions of SB Continue ReadingCould state law override single-family zoning in California?