Housing Underproduction in California – Up For Growth

Published: 2019 | Up for Growth


However, this recent imbalance continues a much longer trend in California, where restrictive local development and land-use policies have curtailed housing production for decades. These policies, enacted by local jurisdictions to maintain walkable, low-density neighborhood characteristics, have largely prohibited higher density, affordable, or multi-family housing developments that were sorely needed to keep production in line with demand. This opposition and lack of density has created a stark disparity in the housing opportunities of renters and owners — renters and households earning less than the median income struggle to afford basic housing while existing homeowners see their homes appreciate rapidly in value. While this trend has been observed in many urban areas across the country, it is particularly extreme in California.