VIDEO: What is California doing to cut housing red tape?

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While California’s housing shortage has multiple causes and much-discussed solutions, there’s also no shortage of people looking to actually do something about the supply side of things and increase the state’s housing stock.

California Forward asked California State Treasurer John Chiang, featured in the video above, what his office has been doing to help close the widening affordability gap.

“The incentives encourage building of larger projects in high-cost neighborhoods, creating economies of scale by putting more units in each development, and using a single application to construct multiple projects,” said Chiang’s office in a release earlier this year.

And Caleb Roope, president and CEO of homebuilder The Pacific Companies, talks about how California’s housing red tape not only adds time to projects, the complexity adds to the work and knowledge required of homebuilders.

Combined with other effects, the problem contributes to high-demand, low-supply market for houses. A story published this week had sources saying that Toyota’s high-profile move of its headquarters from California to Texas was significantly influenced by the high cost of housing here.

And a report from earlier this year showed how the growing housing crisis in booming cities puts drag on the economy, even in the powerhouse regions of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, both of which drove a huge portion of the income growth during California’s recovery.

The analysis by the authors suggested the major job centers in the U.S. could have generated more productivity and income had housing costs allowed workers to move more freely in those regions.

All the better that the 2015 California Economic Summit, held in Ontario, focused participants’ energy on housing, one of three major goals called the “One Million Challenges.” The housing goal for 2016 is to support policies that will help build 1 million more homes over the next decade.

Also in that report, the authors suggest that relieving some of the restrictions and land use rules in the major job growth cities could possibly generate an additional $1.4 trillion in productivity nationally.

Regulatory streamlining was also a topic among several that was discussed and refined by Economic Summit attendees. The goal is to relieve the housing crunch by decreasing costs and headaches for companies looking to build both affordable and market-rate homes.

Check out the other strategies included in the Summit’s emerging action plan on housing, including exploring ways to finance more affordable housing projects and to do more outreach on the value of creating more affordable housing in a region.

The wide-ranging benefits of having more affordable housing is showcased in our recent series on California’s urgent need for it, region-by-region.

RELATED: Video: How California’s housing affordability has big impact on the economic ladder


John Guenther

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