California’s current housing crisis is and has long been a problem of supply, spurred by a difficult public approvals process, high building costs, and expensive land. According to the California Department of Community and Housing Development, “production averaged less than 80,000 new homes annually over the last 10 years, and ongoing production continues to fall far below the projected need of 180,000 additional homes annually.” In other words, we are building less than half of what’s needed to house the State’s growing population. As a result, housing demand and prices prices continue to soar in expensive cities, pushing essential workers farther and farther out from from the communities they serve.
Last week, the California State Legislature voted YES on a package of housing bills, taking an important step towards addressing this supply problem. If Governor Brown signs off as expected, these bills will provide critical tools for increasing housing supply that include: streamlining the approvals process for cities that have failed to meet their State-mandated housing requirements, incentivizing transit-oriented development, and increasing funding for low-income projects.
Since our friends at TechEquity Collaborative, SF Housing Action Coaltion and other news organizations have already done a superb job at summarizing what this new legislation means for housing advocates and builders, we’ve included a list of resources below, to learn more about these bills:
- TechEquity: Progress on Affordability in California
- San Francisco Housing Action Coalition: California Legislature Passes Major Housing Package
- The California Report (KQED): Housing Bill Package Passes Legislature, Goes to Gov. Brown
- Los Angeles Times: State Senate bills aim to make homes more affordable, but they won't spur nearly enough construction