By Alicia Victoria Lozano at NBC News
December 10, 2021
LOS ANGELES — Immediate relief from California’s affordable housing crisis may not come next year even though a series of new laws is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, advocates and experts warn.
Efforts are already underway to undercut legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Opponents say the housing laws strip cities and counties of control over zoning and do not ensure that new units will be affordable.
But the alternative, say those who support the new laws, is to maintain the status quo that for generations has allowed cities to create their own housing plans, often favoring single-family residences that contribute to the shortage.
The debate illustrates how entrenched the problem is and why it has been so difficult to fix. While the new laws do not mandate building more homes that low- and middle-income earners can afford, simply increasing the housing stock will help ease the pressure, experts said.
“It took a long time for us to get into this hole, and it’s going to take a long time to get out,” said Michael Manville, an associate professor of urban planning at UCLA. “It’s going to take some time to see so much construction that rents are going to fall.”
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