VIDEO: Matching scale of California’s housing crisis requires all-of-the-above strategy

610 200 John Guenther

A wide coalition in California is delivering a renewed call for the state and local communities to do more to build more housing–and build it in the right places.

In the video above from California Forward (CA Fwd), which interviewed business associations, policy experts, developers of affordable and market-rate housing, affordable housing residents, environmental sustainability advocates, a case is made for a broader housing strategy to match the scale of the ever-expanding problem.

Housing costs are increasingly putting the squeeze on more people up and down the economic ladder, markedly so in California, demonstrated by rising homelessness, larger numbers of Californians living in poverty, and more middle-class workers living farther away from their jobs, increasing traffic congestion.

The California Economic Summit this year created an action plan to address the challenge of building one million more homes over the next 10 years. To get that done, team members are pressing for a broad, “all of the above” strategy that will unleash the market and increase supply of both affordable and market-rate housing close to jobs and transit.

The Summit’s Housing Action Team is working on a set of fiscal, land use, and regulatory incentives that can address the full scope of the state’s housing challenges. The Summit plans to work with lawmakers to push these ideas forward this year and in 2017.

A recent letter signed by the co-leads of Summit Housing Action Team, highlights a number of bills now moving through the Legislature, which could be important pieces of a statewide response to California’s housing crisis. The letter also notes that most of this legislation is focused on below-market housing and will only address one part of the much larger problem.

“Many of these proposals will help struggling families in dire need of a safe place to live. Some will directly impact the overall housing supply, allowing more homeowners to build second units,” said Housing Action Team leaders Cathy Creswell and Ray Pearl. “But very few will address the broader land use policies and regulations that add to the costs of all types of housing—and that discourage communities from building more of the housing California needs.”

The California Economic Summit is a regions-based, year-long process that explores how to create jobs, increase opportunity for all, and improve environmental quality in all of the state’s diverse regions. CA Fwd conceived and organizes the year-round project along with the California Stewardship Network.

The Summit’s 2016 annual statewide meeting will be held December 13-14 at the Sacramento Convention Center and is expected to attract hundreds of state and regional private, public and civic leaders from across California.

Find more information about the Summit on To participate and stay up-to-date with Summit news, sign up here.


John Guenther

All stories by: John Guenther