Building Industry Blames Onerous Regulations For Housing Shortage

In the second of two reports, the California Building Industry Association asserts that "red tape and regulations", primarily the California Environmental Quality Act, prevent builders from meeting housing demand and boosting the state's economy.

"The [June 15] report is the California Building Industry Association's (CBIA) second this year aimed at highlighting the sector's contribution to the state as well as the benefit of allowing more development."

"'Home building and housing are very important to the economy,' said Robert Rivinius, president and CEO of CBIA, 'and could contribute much more if we were able to build the amount of housing needed in the state.'"

"The report said California housing production has lagged projected demand since the late 1990s, falling nearly 20,000 units shy of housing needs in 2005. To address this shortfall, the CBIA is advocating an overhaul of state environmental regulations, including a Senate bill that would narrow the reach of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), that it says discourage building as it also lobbies for measures that would stimulate home construction."

Thanks to James Temple

Full Story: Home builders push to ease red tape



Regulation causes housing shortage

J. David Stein
It is one of the ongoing ironies that those who complain about regulation usually conveniently ignore the long history of practices that led to the regulations in the first place. As the former principal planner in charge of developing SCAG's first Regional Comprehensive Plan and Guide (1991-1996), I can attest to numerous efforts on our part to find ways to encourage builders to meet the then large (and now even larger) deficit of low and moderate income housing through infill. Instead, the Southern California BIA fought our proposals every inch of the way, claiming that greenfield development was the only way to solve the housing problem. It is sad. Yes, the regulations are often onerous, but they are written at least in part to prevent the kinds of practices (housing in flood plains, for instance) that were often the practice when irresponsible builders ran roughshod over small, understaffed planning departments. Regulations are needed to prevent such abuses. The larger developers, however, are usually much more responsible, and seem to find few problems in building successfully. It would be much better for the BIA to serve as a watchdog against bad practices, rather than complain about the public's need to protect itself, but until that happens, let us be thankful that regulations continue to be enforced and the public is at least partially protected against bad construction in bad locations.

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