Is Calif.’s Housing Crisis Spinning Out of Control?

California has a severe lack of affordable homes and apartments for middle-class families, The New York Times reports. Their median cost of a home has surged to $500,000—double the national cost.

“The extreme rise in housing costs has emerged as a threat to the state’s future economy and its quality of life,” The New York Times reports. “It has pushed the debate over housing to the center of state and local politics, fueling a resurgent rent control movement and the growth of neighborhood ‘Yes in My Back Yard’ organizations, battling long-established neighborhood groups and local elected officials as they demand an end to strict zoning and planning regulations.”

The state has introduced 130 housing measures this year. Among one of the most recent actions, the Senate approved a bill to crack down on communities that have delayed or derailed housing construction proposals. The bill would restrict the ability to use zoning, environmental, and procedural laws to kill projects that may be considered “out of character” with the neighborhood. The bill is expected to be voted on again later this summer.

Source: “The Cost of a Hot Economy: A Severe Housing Crisis,” The New York Times (July 17, 2017)

Senior Housing Facing Affordability Crisis?

Millions of older adults struggle to find housing that is affordable and physically suits their needs, a new report by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Senior Health and Housing Task Force, outlines recommendations for states and legislators to help alleviate the lack of suitable senior housing.

It’s also calling on state and local governments to allow for more permissive land-use policies to urge alternative housing structures for seniors, such as accessory dwelling units, micro-units, and congregate homes. It’s also calling for federal and state governments to provide greater support for home modifications so people may age in place, such as through property tax credits, grants, or forgivable loans.

Source: “Former HUD Secretaries: America’s Elderly Desperately Need More Affordable Housing,” HousingWire (5/22/16)