“The number one driver of cost of living is housing – housing is the issue. Unless we get serious about it, the state will continue to lose its middle class and the dream will be limited to fewer and fewer people.” – Governor Gavin Newsom
During his campaign, candidate Newsom laid out ambitious goals for housing production – 3.5 million new housing units by 2025, implying a production rate nearly four times faster than in recent years.
In his just-released budget, Governor Newsom made his first official housing policy statement and related substantive proposals. The goals are still ambitious, although the results will not be apparent for many years.
The Governor recognized that most new housing must be produced by the private marketplace, and that one of the key stumbling blocks is local government approval. His budget reminds us that “Local governments have a key role in ensuring the building of adequate numbers of housing units to meet local needs. They have primary control over land use and housing-related decisions and enact policies that either encourage or discourage housing construction.”