Only 3% of California’s cities and counties are fully on track to meet state goals to build sufficient housing — and 30% are failing to issue any permits at all for affordable housing, an analysis of state data shows.
The Southern California News Group used that data to create its second annual housing permit report card for all 539 cities and counties in the state. Only 33 were doing well enough to earn an A, while 96 got an F. The average grade was a C-minus.
There was some improvement from the year before: more B’s, fewer F’s. However, the gulf continues to widen between how many homes are being built for lower- and higher-income buyers.
Of the more than 116,000 permits that jurisdictions reported issuing in 2019, the year covered by the most recent state data, 78% were for above-moderate-income housing. A mere 13% were for moderate-income housing and 9% for low- and very-low-income housing.
Scott Wiener, who heads the state Senate Housing Committee, said the report card highlights how big a hole California has dug when it comes to building adequate housing.
“We still have a culture in California,” said Wiener, D-San Francisco, “of always questioning new housing, of having a laundry list of objections to any kind of housing — it’s the wrong location, it’s going to affect parking, it’s going to affect traffic, it’s going to do all these terrible things — and losing sight of the fact that housing is one of the fundamental human needs.”
Although homebuilding has risen steadily since the end of the Great Recession, it is still nowhere near the levels that state leaders say are needed to fix California’s housing crisis.
To that end, municipalities are about to see their housing goals go up — way up. Southern California is being asked to add more than 1.3 million homes between 2021 and 2029, an expectation that many local leaders are protesting as unrealistic. The state isn’t backing down.
With so many locations failing to meet their current goals, how will they meet even higher [ … ]