Eight Solutions To Increase Housing Production
California’s rate of housing production is far lower than is needed to address the state’s housing crisis and meet projected needs.
According to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, California needs to produce 180,000 new homes annually, but production averaged less than 80,000 new homes annually over the last 10 years, and ongoing production continues to fall far below the projected need. See rates of housing production in California from 2005-2019.
Based on feedback from our builders around the state, CBIA compiled a series of policy recommendations aimed at relieving the state’s ever-growing housing crisis. We urge the state Legislature to take action on these issues to reduce barriers to home construction and ensure that California can produce homes needed to achieve housing for all.
“Easy” policy recommendations to speed up housing production
- Enforce issuance of Certificates of Occupancy as required by the California Building Code: This is a low-cost way to be sure that jurisdictions follow existing law in getting already approved and fully constructed units to market.
- Enforce partial release of subdivision bonds as required by the Map Act: This is a low-cost way to be sure that jurisdictions follow existing law in getting bonds timely released to reduce the cost of housing.
- Authorize California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) enforcement of existing Housing Law: With the potential for an investigation, and a loss of funding, we believe local jurisdictions will be more apt to follow existing state law.
- Require the disclosure of the identity of the plaintiff who is bringing a CEQA lawsuit.
“Heavier” policy recommendations to speed up housing production
- Local Impact fees
- Cap or limit fees so that they are not disproportionate to the actual impact and cost of serving projects.
- Eliminate or decrease “discretionary” developer requirements.
- Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) reform
- Incentivize local cities and counties to fulfill their responsibility by tying regional and state funding mechanisms to compliance with RHNA allocations.
- Tie RHNA housing targets to job growth projections and targets. Build where there’s workforce.
- Base RHNA compliance on the number of housing units approved and actually built.
- CEQA lawsuits
- A project that has gone through the CEQA process and been subject to CEQA litigation must correct the deficiencies the court has determined were required to be corrected. Once that is complete, no more CEQA litigation should be allowed on the project.
- City and county requirements
- Simplify and standardize building codes and design criteria for faster approvals and fewer costly, one-off product types and/or features.
- Require timely and substantive comments and decisions on plans and applications to minimize or eliminate delays.
- Eliminate downsizing of project approvals.