09/21/2019

Politicians Missing In Action On Housing

When the year began, the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom had just two must-do jobs – pass a state budget and do something meaningful about the state’s chronic and corrosive shortage of housing.

The budget is a slam-dunk, thanks to the state’s fat treasury. Housing, however, is a smellier kettle of political fish.

Midway through the legislative session, there’s been no discernable progress on eliminating the structural impediments to the major surge in housing construction that California desperately needs.

Net expansion of the state’s housing stock has actually been declining, scarcely 77,000 units in the most recent annual count, which is at least 100,000 units short of what the state says we need – and a tiny fraction of the 3.5 million homes over six years Newsom pledged during his campaign for governor last year.

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