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Home / Why Are Housing Costs So High





The White Paper released by the Building Industry Association LA/Ventura Chapter looks at the forces driving up housing costs-and solutions to address the crisis.

LOS ANGELES, June 1, 2018 - On the heels of a business survey from LA County Business Federation which identified housing as the number one issue facing the business community, the LA/Ventura Chapter of the BIA has released its white paper, ‘Why are Housing Costs So High?’ in an effort to begin addressing the root causes of the region’s housing affordability crisis.

As the debate over housing affordability rages, the focus often shifts to providing housing for the homeless and those who earn the least, but unfortunately it happens at the expense of workforce housing, which in turn fuels the continued growth of the “missing middle”.

As important as it is to house the most vulnerable in our society, it is equally as important not to forget the millions of Californians who are spending up to and sometimes over 50% of their income on housing.

“The number one issue facing our region is the lack of available housing and the cost of housing,” said Tim Piasky, CEO of the Building Industry Association of Southern California’s Los Angeles and Ventura Chapter. “We’ve been talking about the housing crisis, but now we need to talk about real solutions to providing price-attainable housing for all segments of our society.”

The whitepaper identifies eight root causes that have resulted in unattainable housing costs. They include:

1.      Not Enough Appropriately-Zoned Land to Build Housing Upon

2.      Long, Costly, and Uncertain Development Process

3.      High Input Costs Across the Board

4.      The Unaffordability of Affordable Housing Development

5.      Non-Diversified Funding Sources for Affordable Housing

6.      No Accountability if Local Governments Miss Housing Production Targets

7.      Lack of Public and Political Support for Housing

8.      Housing Policies with Good Intentions, but Bad Outcomes

One only has to look to Seattle as a case study in the positive benefits increased production can have on housing affordability. 

As Seattle’s unprecedented population growth and soaring economy drove housing prices skyward over the past decade, a steady supply of new housing units in some of Seattle’s most desirable communities has actually helped prices to finally stabilize. In fact, in the last quarter of 2017, rents decreased 2.9% for the average renter. Now the supply of housing is finally outpacing population growth, giving the market some much-needed relief.

“Our region must begin to remove supply restraints and increase inventory to bring about true housing affordability,” said Piasky.

‘Why Are Housing Costs So High?’ is available to the public. To obtain a copy click here.

About Building Industry Association

The Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, is a non-profit trade association representing more than 1,100member companies made up of thousands of industry professionals, technicians, and craftsmen who have extensive knowledge and experience in building and development.

The BIA advocates on behalf of the building industry. Visit its Website at www.bialav.org.

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