Can Cities Use State Law to Overcome Housing Resistance?

Lunchtime Forum


Housing Construction
Image by Flickr user urbanists

City councils are on the front lines of California’s housing crisis. But local lawmakers who understand that the state needs to accommodate significantly more housing are stuck in a political bind. Wherever they might put new housing, neighborhood groups often spring up in opposition — and those same groups typically have money to spend or voters to turn out at the next election. What’s a well-meaning city councilperson to do? The housing element, a mandated, state-reviewed and periodically-updated component of a city’s general plan, might hold the answer. Come hear a discussion about how cities across the state can pursue pro-housing policies through their housing element, rather than through the normal municipal lawmaking channels.

+ Christopher S. Elmendorf / UC Davis School of Law
+ Paavo Monkkonen / UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
+ Ben Metcalf / Terner Center for Housing Innovation
+ Jon Wizard / YIMBY Law
+ Moira O'Neill / UC Berkeley Center for Law, Energy & the Environment




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