By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – August 8, 2021

Adequate housing in California has become a nightmare for many
Californians.  It is estimated California needs 100,000 additional units
per year, on top of the typical 100,000 to 140,000 units built each
year.  Thus far this has proven to be an elusive target for the Newsom
Administration which has focused on making the incentive to build a lost
cause.  Higher buildings around transport hubs, rent control, and
unrelenting regulation serve to stifle any attempt to incentivize the
construction of new housing units.  Shortage of housing, high regulatory
costs, and rent control are driving the cost of existing units through
the roof in major population centers, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San
Diego, and Sacramento.  Even smaller urban areas are feeling the pinch
when near major employers.  The average price for a house in California
is beyond reach for a majority of its population.  The median single
family house in California has broken the $800,000 mark and continues to
rise.  The Newson administration has done nothing to change that
direction, in fact much of what has been done only exacerbates the problem.

When Newsom’s answer to the crisis is centered around rent control, low
income housing, and no end to restrictive regulation, there is no profit
motive for builders to build.  When taxes, growing environmental
restrictions, and rising building costs are added to the mix, the
incentive to build grows weaker and further escalates the cost of
housing and rent.  While campaigning for governor, Newsom promised to
make way for 3.5 million houses to be built in seven years, or 500,000
houses per year.  Unfortunately nothing even remotely has come to pass. 
Newsom’s magic wand failed to produce much beyond what typically was
being built and the crisis continued.

California has a huge homeless population, which coupled with 7.1
million Californians living in poverty, the idea any of those folks can
pony up $800,000 for a house is non exsistant.  Rental units can range
for a two bedroom apartment from $750 per month in Alpine County to well
over $5,000 per month in San Francisco. Not much chance for many low
income or even mid level income Californians to afford those prices. 
Housing under Neswom has become a play ground for high level earners or
the rich.  Prices for homes in even rural areas have seen an explosive
rise and rents were quick to follow.  Thus far Newsom has made no
progress in changing that dynamic, and clearly has made things much
worse. Heavily dependent on Union funding for campaign purposes,
legislation that may have tempered California’s housing crisis have not
born fruit and are unlikely to do so as long as Newson reigns supreme in
Sacramento.

In every way thus far Gavin Newsom has more than earned his title of an
“empty suit”.  It is hard to imagine a governor in the long and storied
history of the State of California that has whiffed on so many fronts. 
With regard to housing, even places that should have no difficulty
housing its population are experiencing the same crisis found in urban
centers.  The poor, homeless, and low income people are facing the brunt
of Newsom’s lack of action and will continue to do so.  As medium income
and even some higher earning individuals and families have begun to flee
the State for greener pastures and more affordable housing, it would
seem that Newsom would recognize his failings and make an effort to
change course.  That as yet does not have appeared to have entered his
world.  When you are politically connected and wealthy, the “little
people” in the State have only value at election time. That’s when he
rolls out the promises he never intends to keep.

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