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Addressing the Housing Crisis

Addressing the Housing Crisis

03•16•2020
  • Issues

California and Los Angeles County in particular face a serious housing crisis. The demand for housing has long surpassed the supply, leaving millions of Californians unable to rent at an affordable price or purchase a home. Tens of thousands are stuck sleeping on the street. 

Our approach to solving California’s housing crisis will prioritize the vulnerable, be sustainable, and practical for the many stakeholders. First, new units must be built expeditiously. A significant portion of the new units must be rent controlled, ensuring that housing is affordable for renters and feasible for property owners. This will allow working class families and young people the opportunity to build communities and pursue their careers without struggling just to make their rent payments month to month. Additionally, the increase in affordable housing will have a stabilizing effect on skyrocketing rental prices as the housing crisis is eased. These policies will ultimately help everyone, from those who already own homes to those who are currently struggling to afford housing. By investing in a sustainable and affordable housing infrastructure, we will create greater opportunity for Californians and allow financial security for millions.

The second related housing policy I will advocate for is substantial changes to existing zoning laws. Currently, it is very costly, time consuming, and frequently impossible, for both families and developers to make additions to existing properties or to construct new mixed-use infrastructure. Restrictive zoning laws prevent the construction of new units California desperately needs while simultaneously contributing to unsustainable development. The lack of housing near public transport and the great distances residents of Los Angeles County frequently have to travel between their work, their schools, and their homes contributes to the environmental crisis all Californians and Americans face. New zoning regulations must be implemented alongside smart growth plans that fund reliable public transportation and create efficient communities where the services and industries people need are in close proximity.

The creation of new housing will help California’s economy by allowing our communities to grow and flourish. But it is not just economic growth that these policies nurture. Housing policy is integral to reducing inequality, addressing climate change, and helping our state remain a leader in innovation and economic power. By working with all stakeholders, from the homeless and affordable housing advocates, to developers and homeowners, we can create a far better system that will move California forward.