Affordable housing has been an issue for years now and it’s only getting worse.
One bill signed at the end of 2023 included State Bill 423, which requires local governments failing to meet state housing planning goals to streamline affordable housing projects.
For former and current Cal Poly Pomona students looking to purchase a home in today’s economy, be preparedto spend a pretty penny.
According to the California Association of Realtors, the median home price in Southern California reached $790,000 as of December 2023. Inflation, supply and demand, and high interest rates are just a fraction of the problem.
Following up with median home price in a previous article by The Poly Post, average housing costs increased by roughly $40,000 in a span of three months.
New housing laws were signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Oct. 11, 2023, to help solve the issue and many of those bills take effect in 2024. According to apress release, Newsom explained these bills and billions of dollars were made in partnership with the state legislature to help solve the issue.
State Bill 423 will help achieve this in many ways that include but are not limited to developing multifamily housing that contains two or more residential units. Having at least two-thirds of the square footage being designated for residential use. It must also provide a minimum percentage of below market housing rates.
Even after hearing the news of expanding affordable housing, there are still some who see the housing market in complete shambles.
“One of the biggest reasons the market is so bad today is because it is hard to build,” said Anthony Orlando, finance, real estate, and law professor at CPP. “In big cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, there’s a lot of impediments that stand in the way of construction. There is a lack of units and whenever you have something that is scarce you wind up with prices going up.”
The state is also in need of expanding its zoning laws to where it can have more land to build on. Zones are divided up in four categories which include agricultural, commercial, industrial and residential.
The zoning code gives developers, landowners and builders a set of specific rules for what can and can’t be developed on a property. This is accomplished with minimum lot sizes, height requirements and more according to California Land Development.
The amount it will cost to complete construction on housing projects will ultimately depend on the location.
Nicole Cromwell, ainternational business student, shared insights on the experience of navigating the challenges of the housing market while in college.
“I still live at home and don’t really see myself moving out in the foreseeable future because of how expensive it is these days,” said Cromwell. “One day I would like to own property but probably not for a while until I’m secured in my career.”
According to the most recent census, California’s population is roughly 39 million people, which leads the nation followed by Texas with about 30 million and Florida with roughly 22 million.
“All across the country we are seeing this and especially in the big cities,” said Orlando. “New York, Seattle, Phoenix and any place where a lot of people want to live and there’s not enough units, this is the problem we have.”
The lack of affordable housing speaks volumes for itself when the number of people the state has but not enough room to house them all. With SB 423, the state hopes it can fix this problem.
Despite the high housing costs, not all CPP students want to relocate to more affordable markets.
“I would prefer to stay here with the field that I want to get into,” said finance student Chris Zavala. “There’s a lot of good jobs in the big cities. Corporate finance is a goal of mine and being in California would really help.”
For more information on this issue, students can find it on CA.gov.