Housing Models Compared: How Much Housing Does California Need?
February 2021 | Gab Layton, PhD – President of the Embarcadero Institute
To the question, how much housing does California need, there’s a range of anwers. Only a couple make sense.
- Why do some state legislators refuse to trust the demographic analysis of their own Dept. of Finance?
- Freddie Mac’s analysis of California’s housing needs aligns closely with the Dept. of Housing and Community’s Pre SB-828 estimates.
- SB-828 introduced changes to HCD‘s methodology that resulted in a doubling of the estimated housing need. Most of the new increase falls under the heading of existing, not future, housing need.
- But when the question that is posed in government code “ do the estimates achieve a feasible balance between jobs and housing ?” is asked, the answer is that estimates from only two models – the pre SB-828 HCD and Freddie Mac – are feasible
Double Counting in the Latest Housing Needs Assessment
September 2020 | Gab Layton, PhD – President of the Embarcadero Institute
Do the Math: The state has ordered more than 350 cities to prepare the way for more than 2 million homes by 2030.
But what if the math is wrong?
Senate Bill 828, co-sponsored by the Bay Area Council and Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener in 2018, has inadvertently doubled the “Regional Housing Needs Assessment” in California. Use of an incorrect vacancy rate and double counting, inspired by SB-828, caused the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to exaggerate by more than 900,000 the units needed in SoCal, the Bay Area and the Sacramento area.
The Defunding of Affordable Housing in California
Historically, local Redevelopment Agencies (RDAs) have been central to state funding of affordable housing. RDA revenue came from local property taxes and 20% of that revenue was required to be spent on affordable housing. However, severe funding cuts by Sacramento to RDAs have exacerbated the affordable housing crisis.
California’s Transit Challenge
Even though transit expenses (operating and capital) increased steadily between 2014 and 2018, and even though more than a million new jobs were added in those same four years, transit ridership has continued to decline year over year.
California Cities Surpass State’s RHNA Housing Goals
The Department of Community and Housing Development (HCD) sets regional targets for housing by income level. The rolled up totals for all 58 counties are shown in this report.
Housing-Impacted Bay Area Cities Keep Little of Their Own Taxes
San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties are at the epicenter of the housing affordability crisis in California. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has established State-wide housing needs with regional targets (RHNA* ) for 2014–2023. This report examines the housing challenges faced by these three Bay Area Counties in more detail.
California’s 3.5 Million Housing Shortage Number Raises Questions
California has a housing shortage, and the State Legislature has called for construction of 3.5 million homes by 2025. However, how do we reliably determine how many homes California needs to build? This report examines the current housing crisis and some of the strategies the State and local governments could pursue to address the current need.