California's Housing Crisis—No End in Sight

This past year looked promising in terms of opportunities to tackle the state’s housing woes. But most measures failed and the problem is just growing.

1 minute read

September 20, 2019, 8:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink

California Houses

Frantik at en.wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons

"Four years ago, [Mayor Sam] Liccardo set a goal to create housing for all of San Jose’s 7,400 homeless. The city has just about hit that goal, sheltering 6,937 people this year. The problem, Liccardo explains, is 'as quickly as we’re housing residents, we’re seeing three more getting pushed out into the street by the economy,'" writes Tessa Stuart.

The cause is a shortage of housing, fueled by high incomes, rising housing costs, and restrictions on multifamily housing. Stuart traces the history of SB 50, legislation that would have prohibited single-family zoning throughout the state, which was making its way through the state legislature until it came to a standstill in the spring.

"SB50 was not the only legislation that disappointed advocates this year, only the most high-profile. In May, almost all the major housing bills proposed (there were more than 200 total) went up in flames. Two renter-protection bills were killed, and a third, to shield against egregious rent increases, passed only after it was effectively gutted," notes Stuart.

She adds that the state is far from reaching Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign promise to build 3.5 million new homes. And the measures that are being put into place, such as safe parking lots for homeless residents, are just temporary fixes that will not solve the state’s housing crisis.

Thursday, September 5, 2019 in Rolling Stone

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