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The California housing crisis & potential solutions

Food for thought: Housing lunch series

The Berkeley Institute for the Future of Young Americans is partnering with the Terner Center for Housing Innovation to co-host a discussion series about the California housing crisis.

Nearly 60 students and community members turned out for our first event in February! The topic of conversation was state and local regulatory regimes that influence the California housing debate.

If you missed the February event, you can download the PowerPoint slides.

You can also download the event flyer (PDF) to see upcoming topics in the series.



Our next event is coming up soon!

Why does it cost so much to build in the Bay Area?

Thursday, March 7, 12:15 - 1:30 pm

Goldman School of Public Policy, Room 250

RSVP online


Andrew Cussen, RAD Urban

Elizabeth Kuwada, Eden Housing

Elizabeth Kneebone, Terner Center (moderator)



The Uncivil Polity: Race, Poverty and Civil Legal Justice

Join Professor Jamila Michener from Cornell University for a talk about her new research project exploring inequalities in civic legal institutions. She draws on in-depth qualitative interviews to examine how experiences with civil legal processes affect political attitudes and action among those who are racially and economically marginalized.

The event is sponsored by the Center for Research on Social Change, and co-sponsored by the Institute for Governmental Studies at Berkeley, and the Berkeley Institute for the Future of Young Americans. For more information, click here.

Event details:

Professor Jamila Michener (Cornell University)

Tuesday, March 19

12-1:30 pm

Wildavsky Conference Room

2538 Channing Way

Berkeley, CA

New podcast outlines top 5 reasons why California is in a housing crisis

BIFYA's podcast, “Talk Policy to Me,” is out with a new episode on the California housing crisis. UC Berkeley MPP candidate Spencer Bowen speaks with Ophelia Basgal and Elizabeth Kneebone from the Terner Center on Housing Innovation and Assemblyperson David Chiu. They identify five intersecting causes of the crisis, and also share reasons to believe the future can change for the better.

Tune in to learn more!

Check out this latest episode along with past episodes on the Talk Policy to Me website.


Are young adults more likely to experience poverty than older age groups?

The figure above plots the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) showing differences in the poverty rate by age. Data is pooled from 2009-2017 to create a single trend for each measure, and each vertical rectangular box corresponds to a given age group's confidence interval, which represents the plausible range of statistical values for the SPM rate.

Three versions of the SPM are shown: The 50% line (light blue) represents those who are in “deep” poverty, the 100% line (green) shows the conventional poverty threshold, and the 200% line (dark blue) shows poverty rates for people with up to twice the income of the conventional threshold.

As shown, poverty spikes among 18- to 25-year-olds across all poverty levels (as measured by the SPM). While there may be many reasons for this trend, other BIFYA research reveals that young people are experiencing significant resource constraints with lower employment, lower income, and less access to affordable housing than other age groups.

This work is a part of the preliminary results from a forthcoming issue paper by BIFYA: “The crisis of young adults in poverty.”


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