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Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing


California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences

March 17, 2015 -

Living in decent, affordable, and reasonably located housing is vitally important to every Californian. Unfortunately, housing in California is extremely expensive and, as a result, many households are forced to make serious trade-offs in order to live here. While many factors have a role in driving California's high housing costs, the most important is the significant shortage of housing in the state's highly coveted coastal communities. We advise the Legislature to address this housing shortfall by changing policies to facilitate significantly more private home and apartment building in California's coastal urban communities.

See our February 9, 2016 follow up to this report: Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing.


Considering Changes to Streamline Local Housing Approvals

May 17, 2016 - The Governor’s May Revision proposes changes to state law to streamline local government approval of certain housing. This proposal has the potential to be an important step toward addressing California’s housing shortage. We believe it warrants serious consideration from the Legislature. We also suggest the Legislature consider expanding eligibility for streamlining to facilitate more new housing, as well as making other changes to strengthen the proposal’s effectiveness.


Sequestering Savings From the Closure of Developmental Centers

January 31, 2018 - In this report, we (1) provide brief background information about Developmental Center (DC) closures and the Department of Developmental Services budget, (2) discuss potential savings in terms of net operational savings and increased revenues from the sale or repurposing (specifically leasing) of DC properties, and (3) address other practical implications and trade‑offs of the proposal.


[PDF] California's Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

May 1, 1990 - In 1989 the Legislature enacted legislation (58 726, L. Greene) to continue the state low-income housing tax credit program as long as a related federal program exists. That legislation also requires the Legislative Analyst's Office to evaluate the effectiveness of this program. This policy brief provides the evaluation, and makes recommendations for changes to improve the program's effectiveness.


An Evaluation of the School Facility Fee Affordable Housing Assistance Programs

January 18, 2001 - Proposition 1A of 1998 authorized $9.2 billion to finance school facilities. Its companion legislation appropriated $160 million to reimburse school facility fees paid for new homes. In this report we recommend that the Legislature eliminate the $60 million in scheduled appropriations for these reimbursements in 2001-02 and 2002-03.


[PDF] State Housing Program Issues for 1994-95

March 1, 1994 - Through its three housing agencies, the State of California operates 31 separate housing assistance programs. In this reprint from the Analysis of the 1994-95 Budget Bill, we examine whether these programs would be administered more efficiently by a single consolidated state housing agency.


[PDF] Housing-Related Tax Expenditure Programs

March 18, 2013 - Presented to Assembly Revenue and Taxation, and Housing and Community Development Committees