By Elizabeth Klinge

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — You’ve probably seen the construction of new housing projects popping up all across Sacramento.

It’s coming at a time when the city is facing a critical shortage of affordable places to live. Many people are having a tough time trying to purchase an affordable home.

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“Right now, the market’s so high and people are struggling,” one Sacramento resident said.

To meet demand, new housing projects are being planned in some unexpected places. Vacant land just south of the now-closed Sleep Train Arena was supposed to be a business park with 300,000 square feet of office space, but now, developers are saying they want to build more than 280 brownstone condominiums there.

“Housing is a life necessity,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

The mayor says he supports building new homes in unorthodox areas.

“There are opportunities now to convert office buildings, underutilized office buildings, underutilized commercial buildings into housing,” the mayor said.

Governor Newsom is allocating $500 million in his budget proposal to convert office buildings and shopping centers into housing.

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“You have all these extraordinary malls, all that open space, and just the parking lots themselves that are now open,” Newsom said.

Sacramento is also turning vacant land into new homes with 150 new apartments for low-income seniors being built in the downtown railyard. Nearly 200 affordable apartments and townhomes have just been approved along Stockton Boulevard, too.

But despite the apparent building boom, Sacramento is still falling behind in the number of new homes that need to be built.

“We have a lot more work to do,” Steinberg said.

State guidelines require that an average of more than 5,600 homes be built in Sacramento each year, but last year, just over 2,200 were built.

So why aren’t more new homes being built in Sacramento?

“There are so many obstacles including ‘not in my backyard,’ including high costs, including lack of innovation, including too much regulation at times,” Steinberg said.

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Governor Newsom has announced a goal of building 2.5 million new homes by 2030.

Elizabeth Klinge