Column: Newsom and mayors meet to discuss homelessness. Have we hit rock bottom?
There’s a problem with Californias housing crisis, and it’s not about the homeless, the rising rents, or the failure of government programs.
The problem is, we’ve finally figured out how to measure housing prices. We’ve developed the tools, and now we can see what we’re spending our tax dollars to build.
Now we can see the impact of these homes on the state’s budget, on state coffers and school budgets, and in our neighborhoods. Now we can see that, far from solving the state’s housing crisis or providing much needed housing, these housing measures are only fueling the problem.
And that’s the problem we’ve been trying to solve in Sacramento for almost two years now.
I have a simple test for whether we’ve solved the problem. There are two possible outcomes for every policy that is enacted during a year:
First, the state’s housing inventory is reduced by that percentage. Or second, the state has to borrow money to continue building homes, which it just can’t do without.
The state has been pursuing housing solutions for the past five years, but we’ve never solved the problem. And it’s a problem that’s only getting worse.
You see, the state’s housing inventory has been falling in recent years… even as the cost of housing has increased.
The state’s housing inventory has been falling, but rising in recent years, even as the cost of housing has increased.
That’s the problem, and the only solutions I’ve seen here in Sacramento have been the state’s tax system and the state’s localities.
For decades, all that has been left is to say, “We have to build more state houses and more new housing”, or else the situation will get worse.
And that’s just two more homes, after years of more homes.
In 2006, California took a bold, brave step. Not only did the Legislature raise the amount of money that local governments can borrow, it lowered the cap on how much housing we could build. By the end of this