No matter where you live, you’re probably familiar with the exorbitant cost of housing in California. The state’s median home price has crept above $800,000, more than double what it is nationwide. Among the 50 biggest cities in the country, we’re home to the top four most difficult places to afford a mortgage. And half of all Americans experiencing homelessness live in the state.
The California housing crisis has a seemingly simple solution, according to the laws of supply and demand: Build more housing. But for decades, resistance from suburban homeowners has stalled development as the problem has only gotten worse.
Bills Address the California Housing Crisis
On Thursday, the state took a step toward creating higher-density neighborhoods as Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two high-profile bills. Though the bills, Senate Bills 9 and 10, endured intense opposition in recent months, neither is all that revolutionary, said Conor Dougherty, a reporter for The New York Times who writes about economics in the state. But the package of reforms passed in California over the past four years, including these two latest measures, “is probably the biggest change in housing in 50 years or more,” Conor told me.