March 8, 2017 - In this report, we review the available evidence to gauge whether housing element law--the state's primary tool to ensure that local governments adequately plan for new housing--achieves their objective of ensuring that local communities accommodate future home building. Our review suggests that housing elements fall well short of their goal. Communities’ zoning rules often are out of sync with the types of projects developers desire to build and households desire to live in. As a result, home building lags behind demand. Although we offer a few changes the Legislature could consider, real improvement can come only with a major shift in how communities and their residents think about and value new housing.
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.
February 20, 2019 - As part of the 2019‑20 Governor’s Budget, the administration proposes changing state oversight of local housing decisions and proposes offering rewards to cities and counties to encourage them to plan for and approve housing. To help the Legislature in its consideration of the Governor’s proposals, this report: (1) explains the existing process through which local communities plan for housing, as well as its limitations and shortfalls; (2) describes the Governor’s proposal; (3) provides recommendations on the parts of the proposal aimed at increasing home building in the short term; and (4) offers a package of changes to improve the state’s existing long‑term planning process for housing.
February 21, 2019 - Presented To: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Hon. Holly J. Mitchell, Chair
February 20, 2019 - In this report, we describe the Governor’s proposed $1.75 billion appropriation for various programs aimed at improving the affordability of housing in the state. Specifically, the Governor proposes (1) providing planning and production grants to local governments, (2) expanding the state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, (3) establishing a new state housing tax credit program targeting relatively higher-income households, and (4) expanding a loan program for middle-income housing production.
December 10, 2019 - This report responds to increasing legislative interest in determining how the state can best prepare for the impacts of climate change, including sea‑level rise (SLR).
Also see this Summary Fact Sheet for the report
May 13, 2019 - Housing in California has long been more expensive than most of the rest of the country. In this post we assess the Governor’s 2019-20 May Revision proposals for housing and homelessness.
February 21, 2019 - In this report, we describe the Governor’s proposed $625 million appropriation for various programs aimed at addressing homelessness. Specifically, the Governor proposes (1) planning and production grants to local governments, (2) expanding the Whole Person Care pilot programs, and (3) funding the Housing and Disability Advocacy Program on an ongoing basis.
February 14, 2022 - Provides an update on some major recent state budget actions related to housing, describes the Governor’s housing budget proposals, and raises issues for the Legislature’s consideration.