California: Housing Shortage or People Overage?

Published on July 13th, 2017

Last month, a lead Los Angeles Times story focused on California’s housing shortage, especially acute in the low and very low income sectors. In 1967, Gov. Ronald Reagan signed a law that ordered cities and counties to plan every eight years for new home construction to meet the needs of all economic segments of their communities. Critics call the law useless since it requires plans, but doesn’t mandate that the homes actually be built.

Three studies reviewed the state’s housing shortages: McKinsey, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and the California Legislative Analyst’s Office. Collectively, they concluded that California’s home prices and rents are among the nation’s highest, and that unaffordable housing creates a $100 billion drag on the state’s economy. California’s top housing official, Ben Metcalf, claims that the state’s home affordability crisis is the worst in state history, and has led to a sharp spike in homelessness. About 22 percent of the nation’s homeless live in California. 

rows of houses

According to the three studies, California will have to build about 200,000 homes each year to stabilize costs. But no matter how many houses are built, population growth will outpace new construction. The State Department of Finance predicts that California’s population will add 6.5 million residents by 2036.

A permanent answer to California’s housing shortage would be to limit population growth. Fewer people means California would require less housing which in turn would reduce sprawl and help protect the environment. Californians for Population Stabilization has developed a list of solutions that would slow immigration, the leading contributor to the state’s overpopulation. Included are slow legal immigration to traditional levels, and ending birthright citizenship automatically granted to illegal aliens’ U.S.-born children. 

Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to urge Congress to support HR 140, the bill that would abolish birthright citizenship, an important step toward reducing overpopulation.

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