Southern California’s Other Drought – Its Serious Housing Shortage

As Southern Californians hope for rain this winter, another “drought” that has lasted much longer and does even more harm to the regional economy continues its grip: The shortage of enough homes to house Southern California’s growing population.

The problem is so severe that the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) recently held a summit called “The Cost of Not Housing” to look for solutions. SCAG introduced the summit by saying:

There is a chronic shortage of housing and a lack of housing affordability throughout California. Major institutions, employers, and startups cite lack of housing options as a serious impediment to recruiting and retaining talent.

The impact of housing affordability is a critical challenge to local, regional, and Statewide economies, particularly as people from all income groups are increasingly frustrated with the lack of affordable options to rent or buy and instead opt to develop their careers in more affordable areas.

SCAG also produced several short videos featuring Southern California residents talking about how short housing supply and affordability are impacting them. To view the videos, click here.

Homebuilders like Lennar Homes are at the forefront of efforts to address this shortage. The Rancho La Habra plan includes 171 townhomes that will offer greater affordability, and one of the three neighborhoods of single-family homes will offer smaller single family detached homes.

But for real and lasting improvements in home supply and affordability to occur, the amount of time and money it takes in California to get government approval to build must be reduced. How can homes be more affordable if development impact fees in California – like the $41,694 per unit charged in Los Angeles – are so much higher than the national average of just $6,000? How can homes become more affordable in California if it takes years to get through California’s review process, compared to just several months to get approved in most states?

By supporting Rancho La Habra, you can help bring much-needed new homes to the region. Your elected officials pay attention to what their constituents are saying, so add your name to our supporter list by clicking here.