California Attempts to Tackle Housing Affordability Crisis

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A preview of some of the new laws taking effect next year.

December 22, 2019
Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog

It’s a bit too early yet for our 2020 Construction Law Update but here’s a preview of some of the new laws taking effect next year. Earlier this month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a slate of 18 bills to boost housing production in an effort to tackle the state’s housing affordability crisis.

First, a bit of background.

California currently ranks 49th among the states in housing units per resident. Experts say that the state needs to double its current rate of housing production of 85,000 unit per year just to keep up with population growth and four times the current rate to reduce housing costs. Anecdotally, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartments in San Francisco is currently $3,690 per month or $44,280 per year. However, as of May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, the annual mean wage of a teller is just $32,840, for farmworkers $34,700, and for teachers $48,250. And that’s before taxes. Let that sink in for a moment.

The result is one in five Californians live in poverty, the highest rate in the nation, when factoring in the cost of living.

Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@nomosllp.com



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