California faces significant housing affordability and supply challenges, especially in coastal regions where the technology sector has experienced booming high-wage job growth combined with limited housing construction.
State housing officials estimate that 180,000 homes need to be built each year to keep pace with population growth. Over the past decade, on average, less than half that number have been constructed annually.
What Caused the Problem and How Can It Be Fixed?
Several factors helped create the current situation. The massive withdrawal of state funding for affordable housing has certainly contributed to the affordability crisis. Since the state eliminated redevelopment agencies in 2011, local agencies have lost over $5 billion for affordable housing. The proceeds of the state housing bond (Proposition 1C of 2007) have been expended. Furthermore, since the 1980s the federal government has been backing out of funding affordable housing, which compounds these factors. Despite the state budget flourishing in recent years due to infusions of income tax, no significant funds (other than some cap-and-trade dollars) have been allocated for affordable housing.
In an effort to address some of the barriers to housing construction at the state and local levels, lawmakers introduced more than 130 bills in the 2017 legislative session, many focused on reducing or eliminating local land-use authority and discretion. After months of negotiations and public hearings, 15 bills made it into the “Housing Package” and Gov. Jerry Brown signed them. These bills fall into three main categories: funding, streamlining and local accountability.
League Blueprint for More Housing Takes on the Challenge
The Housing Package includes the League’s “Blueprint for More Housing,” which comprises two key funding measures: SB 2 (Atkins) a real-estate transaction fee that is projected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually and SB 3 (Beall), a $4 billion housing bond. A third essential bill, SB 540 (Roth), streamlines housing approval.
Previous Housing Webinars and In-Person Briefings
City Attorney Housing Webinar:
League Housing Webinar - Presentation given in
Lafayette Nov 7, Pasadena Nov 8, and Mission Viejo Nov 9th:
In the News
Recent Reports that Focus on Local Government Permitting and Approval Process
- 2025 Housing Assessment: “California’s Housing Future: Challenges and Opportunities.” HCD, Feb. 2018
- Housing, Land Use and Development White Paper: Understanding and Challenging Opposition to Housing Construction in California’s Urban Areas, Paavo Monkkoen, associate professor, Urban Planning, University of California Los Angeles, Dec. 1, 2016
- McKinsey Report: Closing California's housing gap, October 2016
- Borrowing Innovation, Achieving Affordability: What We Can Learn From Massachusetts Chapter 40B, Terner Center for Housing Innovation, University of California Berkeley, August 2016