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How California Could Help New York’s Housing Market

While both New York and California face similar issues when it comes to housing shortages, commentary from the New York Post [1]says the state of New York could learn something from the Golden State. 

The Post said compared to New York’s “misguided policies,” California has conducted a debate on the issue and has taken “sensible steps” to alleviate the challenges. 

Erik Kober of the Post said California legislators have also advocated for accessory dwelling units, or additional units within existing homes on lots zoned for single-family properties. He added that beginning in 2017, the legislature enacted bills requiring communities to make building these unites easier. 

“Such laws have had a positive impact on cities’ housing supply,” Kober said in his piece. 

The piece continued by saying Albany—New York’s capital—hasn’t acted or debated restrictive regulations to meet New York’s housing needs. 

“Municipal control over land use is considered beyond reproach, despite its persistent shortages. In 2018, New York City granted permits for 20,910 new housing units, an inadequate number for a city of more than 8 million people,” the Post says. 

California joined several other markets moving away from single-family zoning after recent legislative actions by lawmakers, specifically statewide rent control and the failure of a bill allowing more construction near transit and job centers, have put the status of single-family zoning in the state in question, according to a commentary from Reason. [2]

The final days of the 2019 legislative session saw lawmakers pass a series of bills loosening zoning rules governing accessory dwelling units (ADU). These reforms, which were built on legislation passed in 2016, put additional limits on the power of local governments to regulate ADUs, allowing homeowners to convert their garage or tool shed into rental housing. 

"The big news is that we have effectively ended single-family zoning in California," said Matthew Lewis, Director of Communications for California YIMBY, an advocacy group that sponsored two of the three ADU bills.

FOX Business [3]reported that the median-sales price in Manhattan fell 17% in Q3 2019 compared to last year to $999,950.