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From Scarcity to Abundance: Research and Strategies for Housing Policy

From Scarcity to Abundance: Research and Strategies for Housing Policy | August 8th, 2023 | 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, August 8, 2023 | 9:30 am to 6:30 pm | Los Angeles, California

Across the country, policymakers have implemented numerous strategies to increase housing supply at both the state and local levels. As more and more places grapple with increasing housing affordability challenges, evaluating these strategies is as important as ever.

We invite you to join the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley and the NYU Furman Center for a full-day symposium on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at the UCLA Luskin Conference Center in Los Angeles, California. Panel conversations throughout the day will delve into new research on the role of supply in increasing affordability as well as successful strategies for encouraging housing production in ways that are responsive to equity and climate goals. The symposium will bring together researchers, policymakers, and advocates to connect research findings to policy and practice.

Speakers will include Assemblymembers Buffy Wicks and David Alvarez, State Senators Catherine Blakespear and Scott Wiener, White House Domestic Policy Council Senior Advisor Vincent Reina, and more.

A detailed agenda with full list of speakers and panel topics is available below.

Lunch will be provided and an evening reception will close out the event. If you have any questions, please write to ternercenter@berkeley.edu. We hope that you will join us and bring your perspective to this important conversation!

From Scarcity to Abundance: Research and Strategies for Housing Policy is generously sponsored by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Symposium Agenda

Registration | 9:30 am to 10 am

Introduction: Sponsor Remarks

Seyron Foo leads the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s programmatic and advocacy goals on realizing a Los Angeles where homelessness can and should be rare, brief and non-recurring. Previously, Foo served as senior advocacy officer for the Foundation, managing advocacy strategies for the Homelessness, Foster Youth, and Opportunity Youth Initiatives. Prior to the Foundation, he oversaw public policy and government relations at Southern California Grantmakers and Philanthropy California, where he led initiatives that strengthened philanthropy’s partnerships with state and local governments. He has experience in various government sectors, including the California Senate Majority Leader’s Office and the City of Long Beach.

Introduction: Advancing Pro-Housing Policies in California | 10:00 am to 10:30 am

Jenna Hornstock is Deputy Mayor for Housing, where she leads the housing portfolio of Mayor Karen Bass’ administration. She was previously Deputy Director of Planning for Land Use at the Southern California Association of Governments, where she oversaw its Housing and Economic Empowerment, Inclusive Economic Growth and Sustainable and Resilient Development departments. She has spent more than two decades in local government with a focus on public/private real estate transactions, affordable housing policy and delivery, and community and economic development, and her experience includes working for LA Metro and the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles. She is currently on the Board of Community Health Councils, and is a former Public Director of the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles. She also serves on the City Planning Commission.

Does Supply Really Matter? A Review of the Evidence | 10:30 am to 11:00 am

A Summary of Supply Skepticism Revisited

Moderator: Carol Galante is the Founder and Advisor of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley. Galante also serves as Chair of the Board of the Terner Housing Innovation Labs, a 501c3 non-profit that was created in 2019 to support Terner Center’s innovation portfolio, and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Terner Center & Labs. She is the Emeritus Faculty Director of the Terner Center and held the I. Donald Terner Professorship in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy at UC Berkeley between 2015-2021. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Galante served in the Obama Administration for over five years as the Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing programs. Prior to her appointment at HUD, Galante was President and Chief Executive of BRIDGE Housing Corporation, the largest non-profit developer of affordable, mixed-income and mixed-use developments in California.

Vicki Been is the Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and faculty director of NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. Been has been on the faculty at NYU since 1990 and focuses her scholarship on the intersection of land use, urban policy and housing. Been returned to NYU in January 2022 after serving as deputy mayor for housing and economic development of the City of New York from May 2019 to December 2021. In that role, she led 20 agencies and mayoral offices and a team of more than 30,000 people in financing the new construction and preservation of 200,000 homes on budget and two years earlier than promised; securing the first comprehensive rezonings intended to redress the lack of affordable housing in resource rich, segregated neighborhoods; revamping leadership at the nation’s largest public housing authority; and conceiving and designing a pandemic research institute to lead the world in preparing for future health emergencies. Been also previously served as Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development for the City of New York from 2014-17.

Vincent Reina is Senior Policy Advisor for Housing and Urban Policy in the White House Domestic Policy Council. He is currently on leave from his roles as an associate professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Faculty Director of the Housing Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn, Reina is a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow as well as the editor in chief of the journal Housing Policy Debate. His research focuses on urban economics, housing policy, and community and economic development, and has been published in various peer-reviewed journals. Previously, Reina was a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, a Lincoln Institute for Land Policy Scholar, and a Coro fellow. He was a Steering Committee member for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on COVID-19, Housing, Foreclosure, and Eviction, and is on the Social Science Advisory Council for the Poverty Race & Research Action Committee. Reina was the Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Professor at Penn’s School of Nursing, and a Visiting Scholar at the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. Reina previously worked at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Politics and Practice of Density | 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Moderator: Leah Brooks is a Professor in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University and Director of the Center for Washington Area Studies.  After receiving her PhD from UCLA in 2005, she taught at the University of Toronto and McGill University, and worked at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Her work examines of Business Improvement Districts and land assembly to understand the resolution of collective action problems, analyzes the Community Development Block Grant program to understand the political economy of grant giving at the municipal and sub-municipal levels, investigates of the long-run impacts of streetcar investments in Los Angeles on urban form, and analyzes whether and why US infrastructure costs have increased. She is currently working on understanding the long-run impacts of Washington, DC’s 1968 civil disturbance and the impact of ecommerce on physical retail establishments.

Jake Wegmann is an Associate Professor and the Graduate Advisor for the Community and Regional Planning program at The University of Texas at Austin. He has taught and conducted research at UT Austin’s School of Architecture, in the Community and Regional Planning program, since 2014. His research primarily focuses on housing affordability and its intersections with land use regulation and real estate development. He has published research on the racialized restructuring of metropolitan space, microhousing infill, and the measurement of affordable rental housing cost efficiency in Urban Geography, Journal of Urbanism, and Housing Policy Debate. Prior to entering academia, he worked in for-profit and nonprofit affordable housing development in Denver and San Francisco.

Nicholas J. Marantz is an Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of California, San Diego. His research and teaching focus on the impacts of law, politics, and planning on housing affordability and access to various kinds of resources and opportunities. Much of his research empirically analyzes the connection between land use regulation and socioeconomic disparities, connecting legal theory with spatial and quantitative analysis. He also analyzes the impact of changes in environmental laws and institutions of local governance on planning practice and metropolitan development patterns, as well as the ways that non-lawyers (particularly urban planners) understand and use legal materials.

Mahdi Manji is the Director of Public Policy at Inner City Law Center. His work focuses on developing and advocating for policies to end and prevent homelessness in Los Angeles County. Prior to joining Inner City Law Center, Mahdi worked with the ACLU of Southern California where he planned and managed ACLU SoCal’s Schools and Communities First Campaign efforts. He has worked on electoral and issue organizing campaigns in Los Angeles, Orange County, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia including organizing efforts to defend the Affordable Care Act in pivotal Orange County congressional districts.

Lunch | 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Policymakers on Housing in California | 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Moderator: Liam Dillon covers the issues of housing affordability and neighborhood change across California for the Los Angeles Times. He joined the newsroom in 2016 and prior to this assignment, covered state politics and policy for its Sacramento Bureau. Before coming to The Times, Dillon covered local politics in Southwest Florida and San Diego.

Assemblymember Buffy Wicks represents the East Bay in the California State Assembly. First elected in 2018 and now re-elected in 2022, her district spans the communities of Oakland to Richmond, and includes the City of Berkeley. As Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, Asm. Wicks champions the solutions needed to solve California’s housing and homelessness crisis. Her work aims to tackle the inadequate housing supply at all income levels across California, encourage the creation of an ongoing funding source for affordable housing, and address the disproportionate burden of the housing affordability crisis on women and people of color. In her first year as Housing Chair, she championed AB 2011 as a critical solution to one of the biggest housing challenges facing California, accelerating housing production for all while ensuring a strong, well-paid workforce is ready and available to build that housing. Asm. Wicks’ legislative work also focuses heavily on expanding our social safety net, championing the rights of women and working families, protecting consumers, and reducing gun violence in our communities. A lifelong community organizer, Asm. Wicks previously served on both of President Barack Obama’s campaigns, and worked for him in the White House.

Assemblymember David Alvarez was elected to the California State Assembly in June of 2022 to represent the 80th Assembly District in San Diego County. Assemblymember Alvarez is a small business owner and has served for fifteen years in government, including eight years as a San Diego City Councilmember. A proud advocate of the underserved in San Diego, his previous successes included building parks, libraries and fire stations in neighborhoods that did not have them. Assemblymember Alvarez is Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and serves on the following legislative committees: Aging and Long-Term Care, Business and Professions, Military and Veterans Affairs, Rules, Joint Legislative Audit Subcommittee on the Selection of the State Auditor, and the Select Committee on California-Mexico Bi-National Affairs. During his brief time in office, Assemblymember Alvarez has supported historic investments in both K-12 and higher education, increasing childcare funding, economic relief for working families and investments in housing and critical infrastructure improvements. He secured $25 million in state funding for a new state of the art Cinematic Arts Library in east Chula Vista which will include expansion of San Diego State University’s Film School, bring four year and graduate degrees to South County, and plan for a future university in Chula Vista.

Senator Scott Wiener represents San Francisco and northern San Mateo County in the California State Senate. Elected in 2016, Senator Wiener focuses extensively on housing, transportation, civil rights, criminal justice reform, clean energy, and alleviating poverty. He chairs the Senate Housing Committee and is Co-Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. He is a past Chair of the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus. Before his election to the Senate, Senator Wiener served as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representing the district previously represented by Harvey Milk. He also chaired the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. Before taking public office, Senator Wiener practiced law for fifteen years, including nearly a decade as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. He also served in a number of community leadership roles, including co-chair of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center and on the national Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign. Senator Wiener has lived in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood since 1997.

Expanding Affordability Through Zoning and Land Use Policies | 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Moderator: Donna Borak is the Director of External Affairs at the NYU Furman Center and Adjunct Professor at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Previously, Borak was a Senior Correspondent for Bloomberg Tax, covering tax and economic policy for New York and New Jersey. As a business and economic policy journalist in Washington, DC since 2004, she reported on the aftermath of the financial crisis, the economy and bank regulatory policy, international trade and defense spending for some of the largest news organizations: The Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal and CNN. Throughout her nearly two decade career, she has interviewed and covered some of the biggest players in the world of economics and business policy, including three Federal Reserve chairs. In 2014, she was awarded a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.

Jacob Krimmel is an Economist at the Federal Reserve Board in the Division of Research & Statistics. He received a PhD in Applied Economics from The Wharton School, where he worked closely with Professors Fernando Ferreira, Ben Keys, and Joe Gyourko of the Real Estate Department. Jacob’s interests are at the intersection of urban economics and public policy, including housing and real estate economics, consumer finance, local public economics, and income and wealth inequality. He is currently researching how federal policy and mortgage lending discrimination that occurred decades ago still has lasting impacts on neighborhoods across the US today. Prior to Wharton, Jacob worked as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC, where his office studied the evolution of consumer finances and household wealth before, during, and after the Great Recession.

Shane Phillips manages the Randall Lewis Housing Initiative for the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. In this role, he supports faculty and student research, manages events, and publishes research, policy briefs, and educational materials. His work covers a wide range of housing topics including tenant protections, housing production policies, and government revenue and financing reforms. Shane is also the author of “The Affordable City: Strategies for Putting Housing Within Reach (and Keeping it There),” in which he argues for an “all of the above” approach to housing policy and outlines 55 strategies for improving affordability and household stability.

Karen Chapple is the Director of the School of Cities at the University of Toronto, where she also serves as Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. She is Professor Emerita of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as department chair and held the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies. Chapple studies inequalities in the planning, development, and governance of regions in the Americas, with a focus on economic development and housing. In Fall 2015, she co-founded the Urban Displacement Project, a research portal examining patterns of residential, commercial, and industrial displacement, as well as policy and planning solutions. Since 2006, she has served as faculty director of the UC Berkeley Center for Community Innovation, which has provided over $2 million in technical assistance to community-based organizations and government agencies.

Nithya Raman is an urban planner, a graduate of Harvard and MIT, a working mother, an immigrant to America, and a member of the Los Angeles City Council representing District 4. Since taking office in 2021, Councilmember Raman has prioritized delivering compassionate and effective services for people experiencing homelessness, building more affordable housing, and moving with greater urgency to meet our city’s climate goals.  She has built a dedicated team that takes a proactive approach to constituent services, ensuring her office both responds to incoming requests and goes out in the field to meet people where they are, informing them about vaccinations, rent relief, fire safety, and more. She serves as Chair of the Housing & Homelessness Committee, Vice Chair of the Board of Referred Powers Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on City Governance Reform, and as a member of the Energy & Environment, Public Works, and Transportation Committees. Councilmember Raman was also appointed to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board by former Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Enforcement and Evaluation: What Does It Take to Make Pro-Housing Policies Work? | 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Moderator: David Garcia is the Policy Director for the Terner Center. He leads the center’s engagement in local, state and federal housing policy and supports the generation of research-driven policy ideas, proposals, and papers. Prior to joining the Terner Center, David worked as the Chief Operating Officer for Ten Space, a real estate development company in Stockton, California focused exclusively on infill projects in the downtown neighborhood. As COO, David managed various aspects of the development process, including development agreements, environmental review, and project design. Prior to his work with Ten Space, David was a Research Analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in Washington, DC.

Moira O’Neill is Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, where her scholarship is at the intersection of land use, climate, resilience and equity. Her research blends legal research with planning research methods and supports state and local government efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change while also addressing inequality. O’Neill leads the Comprehensive Assessment of Land Use Entitlements Study, a collaborative study that joins legal and planning scholars and students to understand how land use regulations influence residential development patterns. O’Neill is also collaborating with UCLA scholars to explore fair housing questions. Before joining the University of Virginia, O’Neill was an associate research scholar and adjunct faculty member of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Prior to that, O’Neill was an assistant professor of teaching in the University of California at Berkeley’s department of City and Regional Planning in the College of Environmental Design and at Berkeley Law. She is presently an associate research scientist at UC Berkeley in the Institute of Urban and Regional Development and an affiliated scholar of UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies.

Shazia Manji is a Research Associate for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation. Her interests are in reducing health disparities and promoting equitable community development. Prior to joining the Terner Center, Shazia contributed to research on climate change and displacement at the Urban Displacement Project while pursuing a dual Masters in Public Health and Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley. Before attending Cal, she worked in non-profit communications and policy advocacy, supporting health equity and environmental justice campaigns at Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles.

Michael Manville is Professor of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Both his research and teaching focus on the relationships between transportation and land use, and on local public finance. Much of his research concerns the tendency of local governments to hide the costs of driving in the property market, through land use restrictions intended to fight traffic congestion. These land use laws only sometimes reduce congestion, and can profoundly influence the supply and price of housing. His research has been published in journals of planning, economics, urban studies, and sociology. He has received research funding from University Transportation Centers, from the John Randolph Haynes Foundation, and the TransitCenter, among others. He has consulted for developers, environmental groups, local governments, and the United Nations. Prior to joining Luskin as a faculty member, he was Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University

Reconciling Affordability & Equity Goals with Climate Goals – How Does It All Come Together? | 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Moderator: 

Ben Metcalf is the Managing Director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley where he leads the expansion and deepening of Terner Center’s work addressing housing affordability challenges through rigorous research and policy analysis. In addition, he holds an appointment as adjunct professor with UC Berkeley’s Department of City and Regional Planning. And he serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Terner Housing Innovation Labs, Inc., a nonprofit organization formed to advance the applied innovation work of the Terner Center.

In 2015, Ben was appointed by former Governor Jerry Brown to lead California’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), a role he held until 2019. Prior to joining HCD, Ben worked in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., including as an appointee of President Obama in the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary overseeing HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs. Before that, he developed mixed-income and mixed-use communities with California-based BRIDGE Housing Corporation

Gustavo Velasquez is Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, to which he was appointed to by Governor Gavin Newsom in May of 2020. In this leadership role, Velasquez leads California’s housing policy agenda and administers a wide range of programs that produce, preserve, and protect affordable housing and communities of opportunity across the state. Previously, Velasquez was a senior director at the Urban Institute, a renowned national research organization working to provide data analysis and insights to policymakers and practitioners in ways both relevant and actionable. Velasquez also served for nearly three years as assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He served on behalf of the president as the strategic lead of the fair housing and inclusive community agenda for the Obama administration. During his tenure, HUD achieved groundbreaking enforcement victories in fair lending and in major housing discrimination cases. Velasquez led efforts to promulgate the landmark Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, a key tool for cities, states, and other HUD funding recipients to reduce inequality and disparities in access to opportunity.

Lynn von Koch-Liebert is the Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC), which works to achieve sustainability, equity, economic prosperity, and quality of life for all Californians. Lynn has held a variety of executive-level roles in the public and private sectors, working both nationally and internationally to effectuate change. Prior to joining SGC, Lynn was the Deputy Secretary for Housing at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. In this role, she worked to coordinate the housing finance system during the largest increase in funding in California’s affordable housing history; led the housing response during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic; led the implementation of California COVID-19 Rent Relief program; and created the Outsmart Disaster Campaign. Prior to working with the State, Lynn was a Business Development executive at DynCorp International LLC. She also served in Afghanistan, South Sudan and Jerusalem for the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS).

Reception | 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

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