Housing will be big challenge for California’s next governor

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In his recent article in Calmatters, Dan Walters discussed how the next governor of California is going to deal with the state’s housing shortage issue.

He writes that the six candidates for governor were recently asked by Sacramento Bee journalist Angela Hart about their approach to address the housing issue. The two Republicans, Huntington Beach Assemblyman Travis Allen and San Diego businessman John Cox, talked mostly about cutting red tape. The four Democrats—Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and former state schools superintendent Delaine Eastin—talked mostly about more direct governmental actions, such as bond issues and tax credits.

However, according to Walters, only Cox directly addressed the biggest factor: the immense gap between the state’s horrendously high costs of building new housing and the incomes of the 40 percent of Californians who are mired in poverty or near-poverty, largely due to their crushing housing costs.

California is building about 100,000 units of new housing a year now, but the state says we need to be building 180,000 new units a year. At a $350,000 unit cost, that means we need to be spending $63 billion a year on housing construction.

You can read the Walters’ article here.


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