A Call for Action as Construction Slows in California

An editorial by the Los Angeles Times calls for the state to remove barriers to housing shortage after a report finds declining numbers of residential permits around the state.

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August 6, 2019, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Suburban California

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The Los Angeles Times editorial board is calling out California lawmakers for stalling as a report finds the pace of construction slowing around the state as the cost of housing climbs past crisis levels.

The cited report, by the Public Policy Institute of California, found that housing construction has declined, as measured by residential permits, decline done 38 percent in June 2019 ad compared to June 2018. According to the report, only 93,000 new residential units were permitted on an annualized basis, a 16 percent decline.

Both the report and the editorial make specific mention of California's new governor, Gavin Newsom, who ran his campaign on promises to build more housing and began his tenure with a call for a "Marshall Plan" for housing in California. Since then, however, a pro-development bill that would have relaxed zoning restrictions near transit lines around the state, SB 50, failed in the legislature without much of a public sign of support from the governor.

Governor Newsom isn't the only one called to task in the editorial: "But in many cases, local elected officials are the ones who decide whether new homes get built or not, and far too often, they say 'no.' California has to reduce the barriers to building if the state is ever going to end its housing shortage."

Sunday, August 4, 2019 in Los Angeles Times

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