SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Two California lawmakers want the state to streamline the housing production process in order to get more homes built in a timely manner.
State Senators Jim Beall (D-15th District) and Mike McGuire (D-2nd District) introduced Senate Bill 6 on Monday with the goal of encouraging “housing production throughout the state, including streamlining approval processes, identifying sufficient and adequate sites for housing construction, and penalizing local planning that restricts housing production.”
The Department of Housing and Community Development estimates the state needs to add about 180,000 new housing units a year, for a total of 1.8 million units by 2025, in order to keep up with population demands. HCD reports only a yearly average of 80,000 new homes have been built in the past decade.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition says what California really needs is housing for low- and very low-income households. As of now, the group says the state is about 1.5 million units short for this group of people, which means approximately 27.7 million lower income families are considered “rent burdened” by paying at least 30% of their income on rent; around 1.7 million are “severely rent burdened” by paying at least 50% of their income on rent. On the other side, there is a 300,000 unit surplus for above moderate market rate housing.
As for the reasons, the Legislative Analyst’s Office cites issues with the local approval process as the main factor preventing more homes from being built. Specifically, the office says “local governments control most of the decisions about where, when, and how to build new housing, and those governments are quick to respond to vocal community members that may not want new neighbors. These issues pose challenges to constructing market-rate and affordable housing developments alike.”
SB6 will be debated when the new legislative session begins in January 2019.