Stabilizing California's housing market

Cover of report: Opening the Door for Rent Control, which shows landscape image of houses set against California mountain rangeThe Haas Institute today released a new research brief on California's housing affordability crisis that shows why rent control policies are key to stabilizing the broken housing market, in which millions of people have been driven into poverty. The analysis, titled "Opening the Door for Rent Control: Toward a Comprehensive Approach to Protecting California's Renters," finds that rent control, when applied with other housing policies, can prevent housing costs from spiraling out of control and forcing families to leave their neighborhoods. “While California is faced with a range of housing issues that require us to pursue various policy goals, the goal of addressing the housing affordability and displacement crises facing overburdened renters must be prioritized,” explains Nicole Montojo, a Haas Institute housing analyst and co-author of the paper. Read the brief here, and the press release here.

Also today: The authors will be presenting their work at a policy briefing in Oakland, which will also be live-streamed on our YouTube page here.

A chart showing greater shares of Black and Latino households burdened by housing costs than white renter households and Latino, Asian, and Pacific Islanders among highest rates of severe housing cost burden

Faculty News

Sonia Katyal headshot
Janelle Scott headshot

Welcome to Two New Haas Endowed Chairs Sonia Katyal and Janelle Scott

UC Berkeley scholars Sonia Katyal and Janelle Scott have been appointed as chairs to the LGBTQ Citizenship and Race, Diversity, and Educational Disparities research clusters, respectively. Both are highly-esteemed academics who are well known for their scholarship on issues that affect marginalized communities.

Prof. Katyal, the Chancellor's Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, is best known for her scholarship at the intersection of technology, intellectual property, and civil rights. But Katyal’s recent work has focused more on issues around gender and sexual orientation. Last year, she published a major article in the University of Chicago Law Review exploring how law defines sex and shapes gender identities. “Professor Katyal has a felicitous mix of scholarly eminence, intellectual vision, and institutional-building experience,” said Haas Institute Director john a. powell of Katyal’s appointment. 

Prof. Scott is similarly renowned for both her outstanding scholarship and established leadership capabilities. An Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education and the African American Studies Department, her research explores the relationship between education, policy, race, and equality of opportunity. "Janelle Scott is a leading scholar in the field of education policy and has made key contributions to our understanding of the impact of market-based reforms that aim to privatize public schooling and its differential effects by children by race and status," noted john powell on her appointment as new chair. 

Read the announcements for Prof. Katyal here and for Prof. Scott here. 
Profile headshot of Claire Snell-Rood

Public Health's Claire Snell-Rood on rural women's mental health challenges

In our newest faculty profile, we talk with Claire Snell-Rood, a member of the Haas Institute's Diversity and Health Disparities research cluster, to learn about her scholarship on mental health. Prof. Snell-Rood, an Assistant Professor in UC Berkeley's School of Public Health, is a medical anthropologist who studies the social-cultural factors influencing women’s mental health and health behaviors in underserved settings, and utilizing this knowledge to improve the effectiveness of interventions to reduce health disparities. In this Q&A, she discusses mental health problems facing women in rural areas and effective policy and non-policy interventions that can help address these challenges. "The barriers to implementing policy interventions to reduce poverty and inequality are likely the greatest because they require the powerful to give up their resources," Prof. Snell-Rood said. "That is politically and socially very challenging, though not impossible."

Read the full interview with Claire Snell-Rood.
This Friday!

Towards Equity in Policy & Pedagogy

This Friday, September 21, the Haas Institute is hosting a public event featuring our faculty who will be discussing the research agenda of their clusters and a suite of publications on equity-based interventions and pedagogical tools, including: 
  • Disability Studies Cluster - State of Change: State-level Actions to Protect the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and their Children
  • Diversity and Democracy Cluster - Realizing a More Inclusive Electorate: Identity, Knowledge, Mobilization
  • Health Disparities Cluster -  The Sick Side of Town: How Place Shapes Disparities in Helath
  • LGBTQ Citizenship Cluster - Creating Bathroom Access and  A Gender Inclusive Society
  • Religious Diversity -  Religious Diversity: An Historical Narrative
  • Economic Cluster - Responding to Rising Inequality (released in 2014)
  • Race Diversity and Ed Cluster - Responding to Educational Inequality: Addressing Race and Social Class Disparities to  Increase Opportunity 

Presentations and panel discussion with UC Berkeley faculty, researchers, and partners, including:

  • Karen Barkey,  Joshua Clark, Cybelle Fox, Denise Herd, Hilary Hoynes, Sonia Katyal, Taeku Lee, Jovan Lewis, Mahasin Mujahid, Karen Nakamura, Osagie Obasogie, john a. powell, Susan Schweik, Janelle Scott, and more. 
More information and RSVP information here.

News & Announcements

Rebutting the case for gentrification

In a new blog post, Haas Institute researcher EJ Toppin rebukes a recent Economist editorial in praise of gentrification, claiming that the phenomenon witnessed around the country with wealthy investors and higher-income people moving into poorer, often Black neighborhoods in fact benefits the long-time residents. EJ notes that the magazine's argument that gentrification does not actually result in displacement contains little factual basis. "Gentrification impacts communities in highly racialized ways, and glossing over this fact leads to responses that deepen the damage," EJ writes. Read the blog post here.

Artist in Residence: Updated Dates

Due to the volume of submissions for our Artist in Residence, we have updated the timeline for our selection process, in order for the selection committee to thoroughly go through the applications. All updated dates can be found on our website. We will announce our first Artist in Residence the week of October 15. Thank you to all those who submitted applications!

Literature Review of Islamophobia in the United States

Our new reading resource pack on Islamophobia, released last week, contains a catalog of more than 430 citations offering a comprehensive, thematic overview of current academic research on Islamophobia in the United States. This resource aims to respond to the rise of Islamophobia worldwide. Check out the resource pack here.


Sept. 20: "Navigating Borders and Violence: Indigenous Maya Families and Central American Children in Migration." Come hear from Patricia Baquedano-López from the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley speak on "Pedagogies of Migration/Reframing: What It Means to Teach and Learn from Indigenous Maya Families from Yucatán in California." More about the event here.
April 8 - 10, 2019: The 2019 Othering & Belonging Conference will be in Oakland. Visit the conference website for all info related to the conference. 
See all upcoming and past events here.


The Haas Institute is looking to fill several student and staff positions: Find all our job openings posted on this page
Registration Opens Next week! 
April 8–10, 2019 is the next Othering & Belonging Conference in Oakland. We hope to see you there!  Pictured below: Attendees at the 2017 conference.
Attendees at the 2017 Othering and Belonging conference.
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