California Finally Passed Housing Laws, Could They Help Address the State's Housing Crisis?

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Single family homes crowd a Los Angeles, California, neighborhood on July 30, 2021, a day before a nationwide ban on evictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic since 2020 is set to expire. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a set of housing bills last week that aim to increase the state’s housing inventory and return attention to his ambitious goals to build more housing. In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, Newsom called for California to build roughly 500,000 new homes per year to reach a goal of 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. Meanwhile, California has on average added less than 100,000 units of housing per year for the past decade, according to CalMatters. Experts say some of the new housing laws, SB 8, SB 9, SB 10 could usher in hundreds of thousands of new homes over time by making it easier to build more units on lots previously designated solely for single-family homes. We talk about whether these laws will increase housing supply, how they could influence housing prices, and how they could change the look and feel of neighborhoods across the state.


Scott Wiener, California state senator, representing San Francisco

David Garcia, policy director, Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley

Hongwei Dong, associate professor, California State University, Fresno, Department of Geography and City & Regional Planning