Want Affordable Housing? Just Build More of It

March 14, 2018

After years of dithering and hoping the problem would go away, California is finally taking steps to address its housing crisis. In 2017 the state passed a series of bills designed to encourage the construction of new affordable housing — streamlining the regulatory approval process, providing more state funding and cracking down on local governments that fall short of their housing goals. Now, state Senator Scott Wiener is pushing a new more aggressive package of legislation.

The most dramatic change Weiner would make, which is similar to a parallel effort in the state assembly, would be to force cities to allow dense housing development near public transit. This is a great idea to help poor Californians, since lower-income people are more likely to use transit, and are the ones suffering the most from the housing shortage.