Two of California’s leading candidates for governor say they’re going to end the housing shortage, a driver of the state’s affordability crisis.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa both have said they want developers in California to build a half million homes in a year — something that’s never happened, at least in modern history. And they want builders to do it for seven straight years, resulting in 3.5 million new homes from the time the next governor takes office through 2025.
Those numbers are so out of scale with California’s history that they might be impossible to achieve. Practical concerns, including developers lining up enough financing and construction workers to build so many homes so quickly, could stymie the effort. Meeting the goals could also require rolling back decades of popular state policies on growth, taxation and the environment, according to housing academics and economists.