Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Here’s What California Can Teach the Nation About Increasing Housing Production
Press Release

RELEASE: Here’s What California Can Teach the Nation About Increasing Housing Production

Washington, D.C. — While many regions in the United States suffer from a shortage of affordable housing, perhaps no state faces a more dire housing affordability crisis than California. A new Center for American Progress column highlights how California has adopted a series of important reforms to state law that collectively hold local communities accountable for planning for enough new housing to meet local needs.

California has set an ambitious statewide goal of 2.5 million new units by 2030. The six-county Southern California region is responsible for accommodating the largest number, with 1.3 million new units. Among local jurisdictions in the state, 41 percent do not currently have compliant housing plans. The failure to plan for sufficient housing means that housing developers who are proposing projects with a sufficient number of affordable units are able to bypass the local zoning code. These new units are referred to as “builder’s remedy” housing units.

This column reviews California’s ongoing push to permit and construct more housing—everything from large multifamily buildings to small accessory dwelling units. California’s reforms offer a model to other states looking to reduce local regulatory barriers to adequate housing production.

“California’s new approach to housing represents a smart but aggressive strategy that balances the need to substantially boost housing production while also allowing local governments to determine how best to accommodate this growth,” said Kevin DeGood, director of Infrastructure Policy at CAP and author of the column. “Strong planning mandates plus local flexibility on implementation is a model that other states facing housing shortfalls should seek to emulate and which the federal government should encourage. It can do so by providing additional discretionary grant funds and tax incentives to states that adopt this model.”

Read the column: “What California Can Teach America About How To Increase Housing Production” by Kevin DeGood

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected].

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