‘Gimme Shelter’: Why it’s so hard to pass major housing bills in California

Workers stand outside makeshift tents on the beach with a sanitation truck nearby.
City of Los Angeles sanitation workers clear a homeless encampment along Ocean Front Walk in Venice on July 30.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

California’s housing problems are well-known and straightforward: There are not enough homes, especially for low-income families.

For years, California’s Legislature has tried to pass big bills that address these problems, but they’ve mostly failed. Measures that would have boosted homebuilding or substantially increased funding to build low-income housing all have bitten the dust in the face of opposition from powerful interest groups, such as the construction workers and Realtor lobbies.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we discuss why it’s so hard to pass transformative housing legislation in Sacramento. Our guest is Annie Fryman, a former staff member for state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who has introduced some of the most aggressive housing bills in recent years.


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 Manuela Tobias, housing reporter for CalMatters.

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