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Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Pod

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Emergency Podcast: The SB 827 Postmortem

The most controversial and highly publicized state housing bill in recent memory has died. In an emergency version of the pod, Matt and Liam walk you through the reasons SB 827 failed to get through its first committee hearing, and where legislation like it could go in the future.


The Mysterious Construction Labor Shortage, with a Developer and a Union Rep

Matt and Liam delve into one aspect of California's housing crisis that doesn't receive much attention: the shortage of construction labor to build the houses the state so desperately needs. An avocado of the fortnight (2:15) first takes us to Orange County, where the question of where to shelter the region's growing homeless population has provoked some interesting reactions from local political leaders. Then a discussion of why the construction labor shortage hasn't received a ton of...


Gentrification and SB 827, with Cynthia Strathmann and Brian Hanlon

The hottest piece of housing legislation in the country is not being received well by many low-income communities of color. Matt and Liam explore the politics and policy of SB 827, this time from an equity angle. First, a "Number of the Fortnight" brought to you by all-cash buyers of single family homes (2:30). For the "Avocado of the Fortnight", Matt and Liam then review the objectively hilarious memes coming from one opponent of SB 827 (6:00). Then some tough questions: Is the media...


The new homelessness, from San Diego to the Bay (broadcast from the Housing California conference)

Matt and Liam set up a "meet the podcast guys" booth at the Housing California conference, the state's largest annual gathering of affordable housing advocates. They award an Avocado of the Fortnight to two leading gubernatorial candidates for evading some basic questions on their housing plans (2:00). Then they chat about California's rising number of people experiencing homelessness (10:40), why state money to confront the problem has been caught up in the courts (14:50), and the fate of...


Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, taxpayer-funded mermaids and affordable housing

State legislators are trying to revive redevelopment, the controversial "urban renewal" program that provided a major source of affordable housing funding before its elimination seven years ago. Matt and Liam explore how redevelopment worked and didn't work, and what redevelopment 2.0 might look like. First, an Avocado of the Fortnight is awarded to the City of Beverly Hills for meeting its affordable housing requirement--all three units of it (4:45). Then an explanation of what...


Enviros and Housing, a Complicated Love Affair—with Ethan Elkind

If California is going to meet its ambitious climate change goals, it will have to solve its housing crisis. In the wake of the California Sierra Club's opposition to SB 827, Matt and Liam devote the hour to the intersection of environmental and housing issues. First, an Avocado of the Fortnight (3:20) is awarded to Gov. Brown's State of the State address. Then, Liam and Matt discuss the housing leg in the three-legged stool of greenhouse gas reduction (9:00), the ideological divide among...


Why Rent Control Died in the Capitol, with Asm. David Chiu

Expanded rent control won't be coming to your city anytime soon--at least via the state legislature. Matt and Liam discuss why the repeal of Costa-Hawkins died at a dramatic Assembly hearing last week. First, Liam flags some other major housing bills you should keep an eye on (2:45). Then, an Avocado of the Week where in the middle of a hearing on rent control a legislator admits he doesn't know a key law affecting landlords and tenants (6:40). Matt and Liam then recap the drama of the...


What housing stories to watch in 2018, with a real-life California homeowner

The Gimme Shelter year-end holiday spectacular. First, Matt and Liam submit their nominations for "Avocado of the Year", that story which most distills the absurdity of CA housing in 2017(2:00). Then, a quick preview of the GOP tax plan and its possible CA fallout (8:30). Liam and Matt predict the major housing storylines of 2018, starting with new CA legislative leadership (16:00) and the political dominoes falling after San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's death (19:30). Finally, an interview...


How tax reform will hurt California housing, with affordable housing developer Mary Murtagh

Matt and Liam discuss the potentially massive consequences of federal tax reform on California's housing woes. First, an avocado of the week poses the question of whether it's easier to build a basketball arena or reform California environmental regulations (5:00). Then, a deep dive into the federal tax plan, touching the fates of the low income housing tax credit (18:00) and the mortgage interest deduction (28:00). Finally, an interview with Mary Murtagh, a nonprofit affordable housing...


Is Rent Control Good or Bad, with AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein

A simple question, a complicated answer. Ahead of a possible 2018 ballot initiative that could dramatically expand rent control, Matt and Liam explain who benefits and who loses under economists' least favorite housing policy. First, a legendary avocado of the week (4:00) is awarded to a Sonoma County Supervisor's comments on how to rebuild Santa Rosa. Then, Matt Matt-splains a groundbreaking new Stanford study on rent control in San Francisco (10:30) and tries not to bore Liam too much....


A slow-growth "rager" in Redondo Beach, with state housing head Ben Metcalf

Matt and Liam award the Avocado of the Week to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (5:00). Then a discussion of the House GOP's tax plan and how it would impact California, including Liam's hot takes on the mortgage interest deduction (6:30) and Matt's take-it-to-the-bank prediction on the crucially important Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (12:00). Our tour of California's housing crisis takes us next to Redondo, where we interview slow-growth city councilman Nils Nehrenheim (21:00)....


North Bay Housing after the Fires, with Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey

Gimme Shelter's tour of California's housing woes takes them to Sonoma County this week, where the devastating North Bay fires have thrown a harsh spotlight on the region's housing shortage. First, Liam and Matt discuss an initiative possibly headed for the November 2018 ballot that would dramatically expand rent control in California (1:30). Then Liam describes the destruction he saw firsthand in Santa Rosa (8:00), and Matt poses the question of whether the city can and should rebuild in...


Zocalo Public Forum: "Are Housing Prices Killing the California Dream?", with Sen. Kevin de Leon

Liam and Matt will be back next week for your regularly scheduled programming. This week, we're airing a Zocalo Public Square/AARP forum entitled "Are Housing Prices Killing the California Dream?" The panel features California Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, AARP ​housing policy expert ​Rodney ​Harrell, executive director of Housing California Lisa Hershey, and dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Gary Segura, and is hosted by CALmatters CEO Dave Lesher.


Tell Me When to Go (Away from the Bay Area), with Kim-Mai Cutler

Starting this week, Matt and Liam explore how state housing policy affects different regions of California. This episode is devoted to the Bay Area, the epicenter of the state's housing woes. Featuring an avocado of the week where a city official tells Liam how he'll evade state law (2:40), how to interpret California poverty figures (6:30), and how the tiny Bay Area community of Brisbane is a microcosm of the housing mess (9:30). Then, an interview with the great Kim-Mai Cutler, former...


9/28: A developer, an affordable housing advocate, and a lobbyist for cities walk into a studio...

What makes or breaks good housing policy? The wonky details. This week, Matt and Liam break down the ins and outs of all 15 bills in the state housing package: where the new affordable housing revenue will be spent (6:00), whether the so-called "streamlining" bills will actually make it easier for builders to build (10:00), how inclusionary zoning ordinances will actually work (19:00), the new additional layers of planning cities will be required to do (21:00), and how beefed up state...


9/20: WE HAVE A PACKAGE!!! (Part I), with Asm. Brian Maienschein

We have a housing package! It's such big news, we're breaking it into two mega-pods: This week dedicated to the politics behind the package, and next week to its crucial policy details. Matt and Liam discuss the late-night drama at the Capitol (6:50), Asm. Marc Levine as YIMBY heel (9:30), the broad political forces that aligned this year for a deal (17:00), and what to look for next year in housing policy (24:00). Then, an interview with Assemblyman Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego)...


Emergency Podcast: Why No Housing Package Yet?

Three days and counting until the Legislature adjourns for the year. We thought we could see a housing package passed as early as July. Why the delay, and what's happening now?


9/6/17: An opening in Prop 13, Margaret Atwood as NIMBY heel, and an interview with Carol Galante

Every week, Los Angeles Times housing reporter Liam Dillon and CALmatters' data reporter Matt Levin chat about the latest developments in California housing policy and interview a key housing newsmaker. This week, Matt and Liam discuss the Margaret Atwood NIMBY controversy (3:00), why the housing package didn't pass last week (8:00), and whether the state Supreme Court created a gaping hole in Prop 13 or something more ambiguous (9:30). Then we speak with Obama-era HUD official and UC...


8/30: What's in the state housing package, the interest group hornets nest, and Sen. Scott Wiener

The inaugural episode of Matt and Liam Fix the California Housing Crisis (working title). Every week, Los Angeles Times housing reporter Liam Dillon and CALmatters' data reporter Matt Levin chat about the latest developments in California housing policy and interview a key housing newsmaker. This week, Matt and Liam discuss the major elements in the long-awaited housing package awaiting a vote in the Legislature, the muted impact of that package, and the interest groups that shape state...


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