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Do Communities Adequately Plan for Housing?


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Considering Changes to Streamline Local Housing Approvals

May 17, 2016 - The Governor’s May Revision proposes changes to state law to streamline local government approval of certain housing. This proposal has the potential to be an important step toward addressing California’s housing shortage. We believe it warrants serious consideration from the Legislature. We also suggest the Legislature consider expanding eligibility for streamlining to facilitate more new housing, as well as making other changes to strengthen the proposal’s effectiveness.

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California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences

March 17, 2015 -

Living in decent, affordable, and reasonably located housing is vitally important to every Californian. Unfortunately, housing in California is extremely expensive and, as a result, many households are forced to make serious trade-offs in order to live here. While many factors have a role in driving California's high housing costs, the most important is the significant shortage of housing in the state's highly coveted coastal communities. We advise the Legislature to address this housing shortfall by changing policies to facilitate significantly more private home and apartment building in California's coastal urban communities.

See our February 9, 2016 follow up to this report: Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing.

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[PDF] SANDAG: An Assessment of Its Role in the San Diego Region

March 30, 2006 - For over 20 years, San Diego region residents and local officials have debated whether their network of local and regional governmental agencies is well suited to addressing the region’s growing challenges. Some previous studies have found shortcomings in the region’s “governance system” and recommended changes, including modifications to the region’s council of governments (SANDAG). Chapter 743, Statutes of 2002 (SB 1703, Peace) and Chapter 508, Statutes of 2003 (AB 361, Kehoe), directed the Legislative Analyst's Office to study the San Diego region’s governance system and provide options for improving its accountability and effectiveness.
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The 2018-19 Budget: Administration of the 2017 Housing Package

February 8, 2018 - This post reviews the Governor’s proposal to provide resources to the California Department of Housing and Community Development to administer the 2017 legislative housing package. Overall, we find the request to be reasonable. We suggest the Legislature consider a few opportunities to give the administration additional direction on how the housing package should be implemented.

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Making Government Make Sense: A More Rational Structure for State and Local Government

February 1, 1993 - California's existing "system" of government does not work together to achieve the public's goals. We offer a model of a rational organization (or "realignment") of state, county, city, and special district responsibilities.

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Sheltering the Homeless: Alternatives to Armories

December 3, 1997 - The state currently makes 26 of the state's National Guard armories available as temporary homeless shelters during the winter months. Our review suggests that the most appropriate role for the state in seeking alternatives to the use of the armories is to help facilitate the local development of new shelters.

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[PDF] A Review of UC’s Long Range Development Planning Process

January 11, 2007 - Each campus and medical center of the University of California (UC) periodically develops a long range development plan (LRDP) that guides its physical development--based on academic goals and projected student enrollment levels--for an established time horizon. This report reviews the process used by UC to prepare LRDPs and analyzes whether it adequately addresses the impacts that campus growth has on surrounding communities. We generally found a lack of accountability, standardization, and clarity in the current process, and recommend steps to make the process more transparent and effective (such as ensuring greater legislative oversight and public involvement in the development of an LRDP).

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[PDF] State Housing Program Issues for 1994-95

March 1, 1994 - Through its three housing agencies, the State of California operates 31 separate housing assistance programs. In this reprint from the Analysis of the 1994-95 Budget Bill, we examine whether these programs would be administered more efficiently by a single consolidated state housing agency.