Point of View: Affordable Housing Crisis

There is no question that California is in an affordable housing crisis.

In the last ten years we have built 80,000 homes a year but that is around 100,000 a year short of what is needed. This adds up to a ten year 1000,000 unit housing deficit.

The average rent in Los Angeles is now $2,500 a month. This is out of reach for an ever increasing number of people. No wonder the Los Angeles homeless population was up more than 20% last year.

The median price of a home in Los Angeles is now at an historical high of $631,000 dollars. Buying a home is out of reach for 80% or more of Angelinos.

It does not take a rocket scientist to know we have to build more housing ASAP to have any chance of putting a lid on rising home and rental costs.

Even Governor Brown is on record in favor of limiting government regulations so more housing can be built. We agree.

As of now, however, both unions and environmentalists have used these regulations to stop housing projects for their own selfish interests.

Unions have tried in every way possible to prevent developers from paying even a portion of their workers less than union wages. This has made new housing more expensive to build and less affordable to rent or own

Environmentalists have in many cases used environmental regulations to stop new construction completely over unfounded density concerns.

These regulations should be weakened for any building project with five percent affordable units. These projects would automatically have to be approved by local government. This should be state law.

This compromise approach would definitely increase affordable housing starts.
Also, I am in favor of SB 35. It streamlines the approval process for housing construction by making it more difficult for local government to stop or limit new projects.
SB 35 would be in effect eliminate in many cases overlapping complicated local government rules involving density, height, parking, and environmental reviews.

Further the permitting process in the city of Los Angeles for example is incredibly long and time consuming. This is due to slow and cumbersome multiple reviews. Mayor Garcetti this must change.

Environmentalists, unions and local government should get out of the way.

Maybe then more and affordable housing can be built to get us out of this growing mess.

Thanks for listening.

I'd like to hear your Point of View. Email me directly at pov@fox11.com.

Bob Cook

VP/General Manager, FOX 11 KTTV