That is the provocative solution offered for the state’s well publicized housing crisis.
We know the state house is being flooded with housing related bills for the next session, but will any of these well intentioned measures be enough when local authorities, often heavily influenced by NIMBYs, are writing the rules.
These bills include “production incentives for builders, rental assistance, streamlining regulations, new regional planning initiatives, increased enforcement of state housing laws, and even taxation of second homes,” but these efforts can do little against local governments who are restricting development. The local governments are beholden to residents who don’t want more people and don’t want their property values depressed and to politicians who favor retail development and the tax revenue it brings.
This has led the state to produce half the housing required and, as a result, costs the state economy $140 million per year.
Perhaps, California can look to Massachusetts who has empowered developers to challenge regulations in localities that are behind in producing housing. If a city wants the state out of its business, it make sure it produces enough housing. Otherwise, the state is going to come into and effectively rewrite local regulations.
Provocative to be sure, effective perhaps, but could such a policy survive in California’s highly contentious political arena related to housing?