California housing crisis continues to be a big problem. And there is a solution. Create more housing. Presently, due to our low inventory, prices on available homes for sale and rental have skyrocketed, creating a hyperinflation. Home affordability is under 40%. For single family homes and condos, the median price is $584,460 and $476,000, respectively, which is well over the national median price of $245,500 for single family homes. And renters do not fare any better, where on an average, rents are more than 50% higher than the national average.
The consensus is that supply is the solution: and I agree. For years it continues to be all talk. We must act now. In The LAO Report published in 2016, (Legislative Analyst’s Office), The Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing, addresses the dire need for housing empathized as:
The key remedy to California’s housing challenges is a substantial increase in private home building in the state’s coastal urban communities. An expansion of California’s housing supply would offer widespread benefits to Californians, as well as those who wish to live in California but cannot afford to do so.
Since the LAO Report was published, more than two years ago, the need for housing has increased dramatically. We have had a lot of talk, finger pointing and plenty of NIMBYism (not in my backyard) thrown in and while it is good to bring awareness to the problem and solutions, the time for action is long past due. We could create more homes with new construction, multiple dwellings (condos/townhomes/apartments) and mixed-use (retail, offices, restaurants, etc. on street levels and residence above, similar to what New York City has done). And we must continue to engage our elected officials, developers and industry leaders to get people into homes– affordable homes– and end this year on a positive note that instead of more housing shortages, we can proudly announce that we are on our way to creating more homes for California’s residents.
“Housing is absolutely essential to human flourishing. Without stable shelter, it all falls apart.” – Matthew Desmond, Sociologist