Also: California’s post-lawn future, and how New York made large-scale affordable housing work.

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***

What We’re Following

Housing is 2020: On New Year’s Eve, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced that she plans to enter the 2020 race for the White House. Even several months before that, she had hinted as much by releasing a slew of ambitious legislative proposals outlining her platform, and one of those bills could put the nation’s affordability crisis center stage in the next presidential election. Warren’s bill, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, would establish funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to address the deep racial disparities left by redlining and to help borrowers in communities hit hard by foreclosures. CityLab’s Kriston Capps has the rundown on the housing policy that, by any other name, might be called reparations.

It also looks like Senator Warren won’t be running alone for long. Julián Castro, who served as HUD secretary for President Obama, is set to make a campaign announcement next Saturday in San Antonio, where he was born, raised, and served as mayor from 2009 to 2014. Meanwhile, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti is contemplating whether he can govern America’s second-largest city while running for president. Throw in other prospective candidates like South Bend’s Pete Buttigieg, New Orleans’s Mitch Landrieu, Newark’s Cory Booker, and New York’s Michael Bloomberg and the 2020 Democratic field could be packed with current and former mayors.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

California Moves, Haltingly, Toward a Post-Lawn Future

The last, severe drought caused many Californians to rip out their lawns, but some now believe the emergency is over.

Aleksandra Appleton

Co-op City: How New York Made Large-Scale Affordable Housing Work

The mega-complex of middle-income housing in the Bronx, which just turned 50, offers a (mostly) successful alternative to the speculative housing market.

Adam Tanaka

New Jersey Is Getting Sued Over School Segregation

Backed by a mix of civil rights groups, the suit represents a rare legal challenge: Since Brown v. Board of Education, most segregation cases have been decided in federal court.

Rachel M. Cohen

Who’s Afraid of Amazon’s Video Doorbell?

The tech company’s proposed facial-recognition camera system could be a civil libertarian’s nightmare.

Tanvi Misra

Why Are So Many People In San Jose Fighting Housing for Teachers?

The school system’s plan to build affordable apartment units for the city’s teachers has triggered a fierce backlash in one affluent area.

Sarah Holder


What We’re Reading

Uber is boring now (Quartz)

These rural panhandle towns should be shrinking. But thanks to immigrants, they’re booming (Texas Observer)

Seattle made a dead-end street into a basketball court (Streetsblog)

Video: Why fixing the U.S. bail system is tricky (Vox)

Nearly two dozen people are running to be New York City’s public advocate (New York Times)


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