Rebuilding The Dream: Solving California’s Affordable Housing Crisis

Report #165, May 2002


In this report, the Commission calls for invigorated state leadership to solve California’s escalating lack of affordable housing.

During its review, the Commission found California’s growing crisis of housing affordability is the result of public policies that have failed to guide responsible decision-making in cities and counties around the state. The lack of affordable housing is so severe that it threatens the health and welfare of thousands of Californians, as well as the state’s long-term prosperity. The impact of the State’s housing shortage is felt most profoundly by low-income Californians. 

The Commission recommends for the State to provide leadership and strengthen and enforce the Housing Element Law to make more land available for housing. The Commission also recommends reforming public policies to encourage greater use of urban “brownfields” for affordable housing. To lower the risks and attract private capital for affordable housing, the Commission recommends for the State to foster public-private investment partnerships, increase certainty in the development approval process and the identification of new sources of private investment. The Commission also recommends the State optimize available subsidies by making them reliable, consistent and easy to access.