California Housing Crisis Podcast: How will the state try to fix affordability in 2020?

Gov. Gavin Newsom before signing the $215-billion 2019-20 state budget in Sacramento.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

With the state’s housing costs near record highs, Californians are increasingly naming housing and homelessness as pressing problems. In a recent Public Policy Institute of California poll, more than a quarter of residents said one of the two issues was the most significant facing the state — by far the highest in the survey’s 20-year history.

While Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers passed new policies this year, notably a significant increase in funding for low-income housing and a cap on large rent hikes, the governor largely failed in advancing efforts that match the scale of the problem or his campaign promises. He has vowed substantial action in 2020.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we discuss what’s likely to happen in housing politics in the coming year, including a likely showdown between the state and the Trump administration over homelessness and a new ballot measure in November to expand rent control. Our guest is Ben Metcalf, Newsom’s former director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, who left the administration this fall to start a consulting firm.


Gimme Shelter,” a biweekly podcast that looks at why it’s so expensive to live in California and what the state can do about it, features Liam Dillon, who covers housing affordability issues for the Los Angeles Times, and Matt Levin, data and housing reporter for CALmatters.

You can subscribe to “Gimme Shelter” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Google Play and Overcast.