Profiles & Features

My profiles and features detail trends, history and sometimes quirky aspects of living in California.

Tracking California’s push for more affordable housing in wealthy, exclusive communities

Los Angeles Times, October 2022 to present

In recent years, new California laws have pushed some of the richest, most exclusive and famous cities in the country, including Beverly Hills, Coronado and Santa Monica, to allow more affordable housing. My ongoing coverage has detailed what’s happening in these communities, the pushback and the effects of these changes.

Stories: Thousands of apartments may come to Santa Monica, other wealthy cities under little-known law, This exclusive island town might be California’s biggest violator of affordable housing law, This L.A. developer aims to tear down homes to build apartments where the city doesn’t want them, Wealthy Coronado agrees to support more affordable housing after state pressure and In Beverly Hills, no kitchen remodels or pool grottoes as judge orders building moratorium over lack of affordable housing

Why do so many L.A. apartments come without fridges? Inside the chilling mystery

Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2022

People moving to Los Angeles face a strange phenomenon when looking for an apartment to rent: They need to buy a refrigerator. Through anecdote and data this story describes one of the most idiosyncratic aspects of the L.A. rental market. 

Story: Why do so many L.A. apartments come without fridges? Inside the chilling mystery

Podcast:  

A dark side to the California dream: How the state Constitution makes affordable housing hard to build

Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2019

California is the only state in the country to block the construction of affordable housing in its constitution. This story detailed the history of a little-known nearly 70-year-old constitutional provision that had a dramatic effect on the building of homes for poor people for decades. The piece examines the racist and classist origins of the provision as well as its far-reaching impact. After the constitutional provision was challenged on equal protection grounds, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its favor, which had the effect of allowing government policies nationwide that discriminate against poor people.

California voters are scheduled to decide on repealing the anti-public housing provision in November 2024.

Stories: A dark side to the California dream: How the state Constitution makes affordable housing hard to build and California voters to decide on repeal of anti-public housing measure in 2024