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Podcast: Talk Policy To Me

Posts from February 2019

Episode 210: Talking the CA Housing Crisis


NIMBYism, geographical limitation, and weaponized policies have led the state to the biggest housing crisis in state history. Can state-level policies fix a very local problem?  

California housing is an undeniable problem. Rents are too high and there is not enough housing for those who need it in the places they want it. But how did we get here? Why has the development of solutions shifted from a city level to a state level? UC Berkeley MPP student Spencer Bowen speaks with Ophelia Basgal and Elizabeth Kneebone from the Terner Center and California Assemblyperson David Chiu. Here are five intersecting causes of California’s housing crisis that they help identify:  

  1. Limited land and diverse geography  
  2. Production not keeping pace with booming job market 
  3. Housing is expensive to build and new methods are limited 
  4. Cities wield their power to slow down or vote down projects that they don’t like  
  5. Proposition 13 and the California Environmental Quality Act have been weaponized to limit housing production 

While this feels grim, all three of our guests share reasons to believe the future can change for the better. As Governor Newsom takes a strong stand on housing, California looks to rebuild a set of broken policies. Tune in to learn more!  

Wondering how to dive deeper into the history of California’s housing problem and the future of policy change? Here are some thought from the team:  

  1. Attend the monthly “Food for Thought: Lunch Series” on California Housing Crisis and Potential Solutions, sponsored by the Berkeley Institute for the Future of young Americans and the Terner Center for Housing Innovation.  
  2. Watch Governor Newsom’s speech on his budget proposal, where housing featured strongly. Read the overview of the governor's proposed budget.
  3. Check out the blog from the Terner Center for Housing and Innovation at UC Berkeley.

Additional music heard on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions. Photo by Ananth Pai on Unsplash.