California to Take Over Housing Market

The California Legislature passed many bills this past session that were signed into law which gave the government greater control of the housing market. This is a perfect example of invasive government creating a problem, blaming others for the problem and then creating even more rules to destroy the market even further.

The cost of housing in California is certainly a problem. The Business Insider identified that 18 of the top 25 most-costly housing markets in the U.S. are in California, with all of the top 10 being in the state. In a recent study by UC Berkeley, 56% of residents are looking at relocating due to the costs of housing, many moving to another state. Today just 28% of California households can afford a new home versus 56% in 2012 per a study by the California Association of Realtors.

Governor Brown signed 15 bills related to housing that were passed through the Legislature. These included a bill which would put a $4 billion bond initiative on the 2018 ballot. There is also a new fee of up to $225 on the sale of a property that would drive up the cost of housing, but be used to lower the cost of housing. One bill signed by Gov. Brown would revise the Housing Accountability Act and subject local governments to a $10,000 fine per housing unit if they do not meet the new rules and build affordable housing.

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (a candidate for the U.S. Senate) stated he was privately informed by members of the Los Angeles City Council that “We have been strangled, we have been handcuffed by NIMBYism and the threats from Neighborhood Councils.” This started a firestorm of outcry from the 2,000 members of local neighborhood councils who themselves are elected officials. This is all part of the fight over the interests wanting further housing development and others wanting preservation of neighborhoods. De Leon was characterized as bigoted and anti-diversity by some.

View Cartoon

Many of the bills countered the mission of lower cost for housing. One bill signed requires that any private housing project that receives any public funding and…