Our Quartet of Housing Podcasts Is Ready For Listening

We just finished up our four-part event series that we titled "California's Crazy Housing Market." We covered everything from rent control and NIMBY-ism to how a bill that Governor Ronald Reagan signed back in 1970 is the major reason for how California builds its housing today.

A lot of it was depressing - 70 percent of Californians can't afford the media home price here - but there was one common, hopeful thread that linked all four panel discussion: Change won't come from the top down, it will come from individual homeowners and renters who band together to demand change in how housing is built, priced and offered to residents.

Listen to one, two or all four podcaststo get the details about the state of California housing:

Part 1: Why Are Housing Costs So Damn High

Part 2: Is "Affordable Housing" an Oxymoron Here?

Part 3: The Good and the Bad of Gentrification

Part 4: Time to Reform the California Environmental Quality Act?


Podcast Is Up: How We're Handling Dam Repairs, Flood COntrol and Fixes to Our Water Infrastructure

After the epic winter of 2017, there's enough water to keep reservoirs and rivers -- drought-dry just a few months ago -- swollen for months to come. But that means plenty of flood watches and flood alerts. And then winter, a.k.a. rainy season, is not that far away. So how are our dams and levees holding up to handle all that?

Listen to the podcast of our May 24 "Policy and a Pint" panel talk about California's water infrastructure. Pur great group of panelists tell us about the state of our aging levees and crumbling dams (it's not just Oroville we need to focus on); how (or if) they can be repaired; how much will that all cost; and who's supposed to pay that particular water bill.

Listen to the entire 1 hr, 37 min. podcast, or scroll down to the"Podcast Timeframe" section to listen to certain topics and specific segments.

We held it in the basement of Graciano's Speakeasy, a former governor's mansion/grocery store/brothel/Prohibition speakeasy in Old Sacramento. The basement is at the level where our city used to stand before the Great Flood of 1862, the biggest in California's recorded history, made officials use a lot of packed dirt to raise the buildings a minimum of 14 feet. It's te perfect place to have a pint and talk about flood control.



CEQA Reform: Time to Change the Law That Affects All Housing Here?

So what the hell is this CEQA, you ask? This story from Orange County Register reporter Jeff Collins breaks it down into simple, easy- to-understand facts and terminology. Read it and you'll have a really good sense of what we'll be covering this Wednesday evening at Graciano's Speakeasy in Old Sacrameno. Panel discussion starts at 6:30 pm -- see the details on our Events Calendar.

Podcast: The Good and The Bad of Gentrification

Sacramento is on Realtor.com's list of the Top 10 U.S. cities that are gentrifying the fastest. And while our median housing price increase in the last 15 years jumped by more than 100 percent, we're apparently only 26.5 percent gentrified. What's going to happen in the next few years?

Listen to the podcast recording of our panel "The Good and The Bad of Gentrification," the third of our four-part discussion series "California's Crazy Housing Market."

Next up: CEQA reform - wonky but relevant to everyone living in California.

Help for Nonprofits that Need to Get the Word Out (Like Us)

As a fledgling nonprofit, we need help in spreading the word and getting more of you to come to our events.

Any other nonprofits in the same boat, join us at this cool-looking (and free) workshop on March 31, 8 am - 2 pm, in the Auditorium at CLARA - E. Claire Raley Studios for Performing Arts.

RSVP here to attend.

Thanks to CA Groundbreakers advisory board member Rachel Smith and her company FSB Core Strategies for creating this event and helping us nonprofits out. And Happy Birthday.

A Group Named BARF Is Calling Out "Build, Baby, Build" in the Bay Area

Sonja Trauss is a great example of a California Groundbreaker. As founder of the Bay Area Renters Foundation (fondly known as BARF), she's got a motto of "Build, Baby, Build" in the Bay Area, advocating for any type of housing to be built, as long as it's built tall, high-density -- and soon. A former lawyer who makes BARF her full-time job, she recently hired a lawyer to sue the East Bay city of Lafayette for switching a high-density development to single-family homes instead.

Read this great New York Times profile of Trauss and BARF. And come to the Brickhouse Gallery on Wednesday to meet her -- after her court date in Lafayette, she's taking the Amtrak up here to be on our "Affordable Housing as Oxymoron in California" panel.

Podcast for "California's Crazy Housing Market" Part One Is Up

Our first panel was a 360-degree overview of the housing market (the other three, in February and March, are about Affordable Housing, Gentrification, and the love-it/hate-it effects of the California Environmental Quality Act). We focused on the Sacramento area's real estate and rental markets -- who and what are affecting the prices, what's the forecast for 2017, will anything change, and whether renters and potential buyers should still have hope.

Listen to the podcast, either all the way through or jump around to specific segments (use the "Podcast Timeframe" at the bottom of the page as a reference).

If you are time-strapped, then just go to the 1 hour, 2 minute mark, where a 30-year-old guy steps to the mic and asks, "I worry that I can never buy a house. Is there any hope for me?" What the panelists tell him reveal a lot about the current state of Sacramento's housing market, and where it's headed.

Listen to the whole thing, or refer to the "Podcast Timeframe" section at the bottom of the page to go to specific sections.

But there's plenty of highlights throughout the podcast -- listen and enjoy.

The Podcast for "Innovation City" Is Up

Mayor Steinberg kicked off the evening with his hopes, dreams and vision of innovation in Sacramento, followed by a lively two-hour discussion of tech, arts, food, government and innovation -- and how they can all tie together to boost the City's economy, culture and credibility.

Listen to the podcast, either all the way through or jump around to specific segments (use the "Podcast Timeframe" at the bottom of the page as a reference).

One highlight comes at the 2 hr, 10 min mark: How Sacramento can become the capital of "Gov Tech," and how the City, the state government and the private sector can work together to make this an innovation hub of civic technology.

But there's plenty of highlights throughout the podcast -- listen and enjoy.

Housing Trends for 2017: More Creative Lending, Multiple Offers . . . and Marijuana

Ryan Lundquist, who writes the Sacramento Appraisal Blog, is one of our panelists for Part One of our four-part panel series "California's Crazy Housing Market." He gives great opinions and in-depth analysis of Sacramento real estate and what drives it. His predictions for what will drive the local home rental/buying trends this year include more creative lending, more multiple offers, more newly-licensed agents and home-flipping courses -- and marijuana.

Ask him your questions this Tuesday evening in the Auditorium at CLARA - E. Claire Raley Studios for Performing Arts.