California is a state with a lot of open land and, conversely, among the highest housing prices in the nation. While California’s population is one reason for that, more densely populated states do not have similarly expensive housing. Why is that?
What are the effects of California’s housing shortage?
According to CalMatters, there are three existing housing crises in the state that stem from the overall lack of housing:
- High cost of living: Rents across the state make national headlines. San Francisco has long held the “most expensive housing market” title for several years now.
- Homelessness: Relative temperate conditions and difficult-to-afford housing mean that many of those who cannot afford to find a place to live will go without.
- High levels of poverty: Those who can only just afford housing, however, live in relative poverty with little money left over for goods, services and luxuries.
With these troubling symptoms, many ask why there is a housing shortage.
The cause of the housing shortage is complicated
Despite legislative efforts designed to encourage low-income housing and societal attention brought to the issue, the hurdles for addressing the problems remain. Sometimes, it is active action against legislation—other times, historic public health crises raise roadblocks. But again and again, chances to build new housing and begin the operation to balance the available housing options have fallen short.
However, past performance does not indicate future success.
How can municipalities address the housing shortage?
Some would argue that the difficulties faced by average citizens struggling in the housing marketplace are not a wide concern. A municipality must take a much wider view of the housing struggles of individual citizens.
In next week’s blog, we will review some possible options for low-income and affordable housing that municipalities may choose to pursue.