Bloomberg: California Turns to Homeowners to Help Solve a Crisis

Bloomberg: California Turns to Homeowners to Help Solve a Crisis
May 21, 2018 Peter

Policies to address California’s housing crisis have to take into account two stubborn facts: Homeowners are much less likely than renters to want to see more housing. And three-quarters of the state’s voters are homeowners.  In a Public Policy Institute of California survey, 55 percent of homeowners said they support new construction in their communities, versus 73 percent of renters. On the more specific question of whether they favor changing environmental regulations and local permitting processes to make housing more affordable, half of homeowners said yes, compared with 70 percent of renters. For likely voters, those numbers dropped to 46 percent and 49 percent respectively. So the trick to adding new housing, especially in expensive cities, is finding policies that appeal to the interests of homeowners. One such policy is showing promise. In 2016, the California Legislature enacted a law requiring cities to allow homeowners to build accessory dwelling units, or ADUs — otherwise known as granny flats, guest houses or garage apartments. The new structures simply have to be in residential areas and meet such basic requirements as setbacks and height limits.

 

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