Power Players’ Problematic Playbook For Housing

Authored by Sharon Rushton, Published in the Marin Post

Since 2008 and accelerating in 2016, State lawmakers have been following the same playbook, which has been largely written by the lobbying efforts of Big Real Estate, Big Tech, and Big Wall Street Investment Firms in order to augment their investments in residential properties.

To maximize profits from their residential property portfolios, the Power Players have sought to change land use policy and regulations. They have been successful. Recently enacted housing laws take away local control of residential land use and give it to real estate developers to maximize their return on investment (ROI); raise the value of residential properties via up-zoning (increasing density); reduce the cost of residential construction via deregulation (weakening the California Environmental Quality Act – CEQA and development standards) and lower developer fees; and augment rental income by promoting market-rate housing over affordable housing.

Deregulation has included removing democratic public engagement and due process, such as public hearings and environmental analysis. ………..

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