If California is going to solve its affordable housing problem, cities have to build up in single-family home neighborhoods. That was the conclusion of the economists I interviewed for my recent story on Berkeley. The story raises a big, difficult question that sits at the heart of California’s efforts to simultaneously combat poverty and climate change: Is it possible to build a dense city that is also affordable? California has a growing economy and the nation’s most expensive housing market. Worried about escalating rents and home prices, many people have pointed to the economy, in particular the technology industry, as a scapegoat.
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