Housing Crisis in the Golden State

Years ago, California was looked upon as the powerhouse of opportunity and economic development in the United States. According to US News, the Golden State ranks fourth in the U.S. in economic development. The state’s nominal GDP of $2.8 trillion places it in the top 10 among entire countries around the world. With such massive economic power, we have an enormous population influx in urban areas.

With the current rate of population increase, California would have to double its rate of expansion (85,000 units per year) and further encroach into urban single family housing areas with increasingly substantial and more significant apartment complexes to make room for the people flocking into the state.

Lack of access to low income housing in California is a direct contributor to the explosion of homelessness.  According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, as of 2017, there were around 554,000 homeless people in the country. California alone has an estimated 130,000 homeless people.

The majority of California urban centers are zoned for single family homes as opposed to affordable housing developments like apartment complexes. California’s skyrocketing tax rates and lack of access to affordable housing are the root causes of Californians being forced from their homes and onto the streets.

The near Democratic monopoly on state-elected positions has put in place virtually every single tax increase proposed year after year, contributing to the deterioration of the state’s business climate and job opportunities.

The absurd amount of regulations that developers face forces many possible investors to search for other options. While California ranks among the highest states in the U.S. for economic power, we also rank second to last for tax-friendly states, according to Tax Foundation.

While we as a state have often boasted about our achievements and economic power, the California state legislature often overlooks growing problems such as the lack of affordable housing. As the most populated state in the country, we also have the highest median housing cost, highest tax rates, and the most substantial amount of debt of any other state.

California is on the brink of disaster when it comes to housing. An online survey conducted in February by Edelman Intelligence, found that 53 percent of Californians surveyed are considering fleeing, representing a 4 percent increase from the poll conducted just one year ago. It’s time for California legislators to recognize these problems and address them.


Photo by Tom Rumble