Housing Costs

California has a serious housing shortage. And many Californians have been affected by it financially with the soaring cost of living expenses.

The fruits of this grave issue combined with high taxation and a divisive political climate have been a cause of the Golden State emerging as the nation’s epicenter of poverty.

Statewide, housing costs and rents have been rising rapidly for decades and has now reached critical mass. Supply-and-demand economics teach that whenever there is high demand for product and low supply, prices go up. Unfortunately, that is now the case for shelter, a basic necessity of life.

A number of factors have led to this crisis. Abuses of the California Environmental Quality Act have long aggravated the problem for infill housing development. At the local level, overly-restrictive and outdated zoning rules limit opportunities for unit expansion in densely populated areas.

Costs for developers to build in high-demand areas are generally at the point where they cannot compete nor profit; therefore they cannot even plan to address the supply shortage in areas that need it the most. In addition, partisan politics and soaring taxes and fees at the state level continue to hamper efforts for Californians to prosper.

If you lived in the Inland Empire long enough, you know this pattern has been going on for far too long. Far too many highly skilled Inland Empire workers remain forced to commute long distances each way on jammed-packed freeways to an out-of-town job site simply because there is no desirable and affordable place to live near their work. Because the community is so spread out, transit alternatives remain minimal and rush hour oriented.

These strict local regulations and broken loopholes in state environmental law have directly led to the lack of expanded infill development of workforce housing in places like Orange County and San Diego, leading to this inventory shortage and serious expensive purchase and rental prices.

To solve this grave housing cost issue, California needs policies that would:
  • Improve housing supplies in high demand areas, especially near job hubs so that workers can better afford to have a decent commute and spend more time with their families.
  • Incentivize business growth in the Inland Empire so that existing bedroom communities can have a robust local workforce.
  • Expand transient shelter options and rehabilitation programs to reduce illegal homeless encampments.
  • Clean up and better control blighted areas with the stoppage of illegal street gang activity and the underground drug market so that the inner urban cities can be desirable places to live, work and play.