Housing supply lags demand. Every year, the state produces less housing than is needed to accommodate its growing population. While 180,000 new housing units are needed annually, production has remained below 100,000 units over the last 8 years.
Sacramento lacks sufficient housing. From 2006-2013, the City of Sacramento saw only 54% of needed housing production and Sacramento County saw only 46% of needed production.
Housing is an issue of income equality. Housing production is especially lacking for renter households with extremely low incomes or very low incomes; the state has three times as many of these households as there are units available to them.
Production of all types is necessary. To prevent lower-income families from being out-bid by households with higher incomes, more housing is necessary, both affordable and market-rate.
The housing crisis takes a toll. As a result of insufficient housing, Californians are priced out of the state, priced out of areas with opportunities for social mobility, and priced out of reasonable commute times.
Community opposition prevents adequate supply. A long-standing culture of exclusion manifests in opposition against any and all kinds of development.
Systemic barriers reinforce limits to development. Anti-growth attitudes have been incorporated into local policies that further prevent housing construction. Local governments have an array of options to limit growth if their constituents wish.
Representative democracy favors homeowners. Housing decisions are made by local officials, who face pressure to appease those who attend public hearings. While the benefits of larger housing supply are collectively greater across all of a city’s renters, those renters individually lack the motivation or time that affords homeowners.
Advocates can make a difference. Pro-housing groups have an opportunity to speak up for renters, who are often unrepresented in housing decisions. Groups across California have ensured positive votes on developments, prevented anti-development measures, and enacted voter-approved housing bonds.
Your help is needed. We can’t change the narrative from exclusion to inclusion overnight. Help us change the narrative by speaking up at public meetings, shaping our policy agenda, and joining our team!