California Has a Housing Crisis and Can’t Figure Out How to Solve It

“…Here’s just one tidbit from California’s housing affordability crisis: According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, families in the northern California counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin who make as much as $117,000 a year are eligible to live in low-income housing projects. Want another one or two? Well, here you go: California’s median home value has increased by almost 80 percent to $544,900 since 2011, while more than half of renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

Not that there’s much of a mystery of what’s really happening. As the Los Angeles Times notes, “Academic researchers, state analysts and California’s gubernatorial candidates agree that the fundamental issue underlying the state’s housing crisis is that there are not enough homes for everyone who wants to live here.”

A few examples: UCLA researchers find, “Opposition to new housing and increased housing density are major components of California’s current housing problem. In many of the state’s cities a vast majority of residential land is zoned only for single-family housing, which drastically limits potential supply.” Likewise, experts at UC Berkeley conclude that “it is clear that supply matters, and there is an urgent need to expand supply in equitable and environmentally sustainable ways.”…”