In a series of dramatic committee hearings and last-minute decisions in Sacramento, three major housing bills were blocked or whittled to a husk. Their demise came at the hands of engaged homeowner activists from predominantly suburban communities, real estate lobbies and after a lack of intervention from Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leadership to keep the bills alive.
Now, after it appeared lawmakers would make their strongest attempt yet at addressing California’s housing affordability challenges, they believe their measures won’t be enough.
“We all know we have to have an appropriate crisis response,” Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) said after an antieviction measure he co-wrote was shelved on the Assembly floor. “We don’t have it yet.”
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The state’s housing cost problems are well documented. Nine of the 15 metropolitan areas with the highest median home values in the country are in California, with those in Silicon Valley topping the list at $1.2 million, according to real estate website Zillow. Many interest groups involved in housing issues have broadly agreed that the answer should involve more homebuilding, preserving existing housing stock and advancing protections to renters vulnerable to eviction.