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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Future of Housing and Community Development: A California 100 Report on Policies and Future Scenarios


California’s housing crisis is not just one thing. There are myriad crises, and they are interconnected: housing cost burdens, household instability and homelessness, racial segregation, economic inequality, health disparities, and climate change are all exacerbated by California’s inability to build sufficient housing (especially for lower-income households) and ensure that new supply is fairly distributed across communities and in ways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Every day, there’s a news story of people leaving the state for cheaper places, of a renter doing their best to stave off an eviction, or of a community struggling with gentrification and displacement. The politics of housing in the state also sometimes feel intractable: cities continue to rely on exclusionary zoning tactics to thwart new supply, while developers, labor unions, NIMBYs, YIMBYs, and tenant advocates all stake out opposing views of what is needed to solve the crisis. All of this contributes to California’s future housing trajectory feeling grim.

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