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.

August 6, 2019, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Suburban California

Vlad Valeye / Shutterstock

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

The New York Public Library's stone lions Patience and Fortitude have donned face masks to remind New Yorkers to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Top Urban Planning Books of 2021

Planetizen's annual list of the top urban planning books of the year is here—maintaining a tradition that dates back to 2002.

November 26, 2021 - James Brasuell

Empty Road

The Roadway Expansion Paradox

Motorists want expensive roadway expansions provided that somebody else foots the bill, but when required to pay directly through tolls, the need for more capacity often disappears. What should planners do?

November 28, 2021 - Todd Litman


Urban Exodus: Data Don't Support the Popular Pandemic Narrative

Americans fled cities in waves during the pandemic, right? Not to so fast.

November 30, 2021 - Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

A mile marker showing mile zero of the Great Allegheny Passage, which is a bike and pedestrian path that begins in Cumberland, Maryland and ends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Measuring the Economic Impact of the Great Allegheny Passage

Small communities once dependent on coal, coke, paper, lumber, and manufacturing now have a 150-mile bike and pedestrian path contributing to the local economy.

44 minutes ago - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Houston, Texas

Houston Could End Homelessness With Less Than 2,000 Housing Units

Houston's homeless response program has yielded strong results in the last few years. Just 1,900 new affordable housing units could 'effectively end' homelessness in the city.

1 hour ago - Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research

California State Capital

Land Use Regulations on a Collision Course in California

The future of planning in California depends on how lawyers reconcile the Housing Accountability Act with the California Environmental Quality Act.

2 hours ago - State & Local Government Law Blog

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.