California Tops Nation Least Affordable Housing

Nearly all of the nation’s top 20 least affordable housing markets are in California.  The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo Bank report that 18 of the country’s most unaffordable regions are in the Golden State, including all of the top 10.  As usual, San Francisco and its peninsula communities led the […]

How Homebuyers Acknowledge COVID-19

Led by an increased interest among millennials, people are flooding new subdivisions where they are looking to upgrade their living situation.  But, based on interviews, they are also leaving densely populated, downtown neighborhoods due to the COVID-19 scare. That’s because the “smart growth” ideal of dense, urban-centric dwelling doesn’t square with the reality of home […]

The Threat of Critical Race Theory

Like many of my fellow Fox and Hounds enthusiasts, I am ashamed of the history of racism and racial discrimination in California, indeed the country.  I believe in what our founding fathers saw and declared as the American ideal – that “all men (and women) are created equal.”  I, as do millions of U.S. citizens, […]

California Voters Reject Rent Control – Again

Some affordable housing advocates just don’t get it.  They keep trying to convince state voters that rent control is a good thing.  It’s not.  And a strong majority of Californians agree.  It’s particularly shameful that strong backing for Proposition 21 – this year’s rent control initiative – came from those in the state legislature who […]

Environmentalists Getting What They Wanted

It’s just what environmental activists hoped would happen.  California is losing people.  It’s not because folks are dying sooner, either.  Both natives and newcomers have decided they’ve had it and are departing the state.   What is different from other points in history?  Golden State residents have repeatedly endured the surging rents and sky-high costs of […]

Current Housing Dispute Magnifies Local Mess

Disputes between state and local governments are nothing new.  Indeed, the California constitution was amended long ago to ensure against state mandates on locals unless accompanied by complete compensation.  It’s a past stipulation that continues to be honored by all lawmakers and their staff.  The provision is regularly used in drafting legislation. But, despite the […]

When It Comes to Housing, Jack Kemp had Good Ideas

Roughly thirty-five years ago, Yelena Bonner was not well known in America.  But, by the time she was allowed by mother Russia (then the Soviet Union) to travel to this country hers was nearly a household name.  When the sixty year-old human rights activist – wife of exiled Soviet peacenik Andrei D. Sakharov – arrived […]

It’s Time to Get Serious About Solar

Not long ago a good-news story on solar was presented on these pages.  It reported how California policy-makers and energy regulators had approved some new-home developments using offsite solar systems instead of individual rooftop panels – a great savings for new and future homebuyers and an alternative to the state’s mandate of solar on individual […]

Smart Growth isn’t so Smart Anymore

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to conclude that because of the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus or urban unrest dense housing would be less in vogue than it used to be.  After all, wasn’t there a high rate of contamination of the virus in residentially compact New York City?  And didn’t the city council there […]

Fair Housing Door-to-Door Sweep Dead, for Now

The federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has withdrawn its controversial regulation subjecting landlords to invasive local reviews of their rental properties to see whether there are “any barriers to fair housing, housing patterns or practices that promote bias.”  Suspension of the regulation, dubbed the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, will also […]