The Challenge Faced by California when Addressing the Housing Shortage

Housing Shortage

California is currently in a state of house shortages. The lack of the supply to meet the demand has catapulted the rent and home prices to unimaginable levels. The situation has also increased the number of people without homes and stalled the expansion of business in the city. According to analysis carried out, the city requires an additional 3.5 million households in seven years. Only then will they meet the demand of the ever-growing population. While housing is a problem, the city faces a more significant challenge due to lack of a definite location for development. On the news, it’s evident that there are fewer locations within which the city can set up homes.

The effects of the recent wildfire have breathed life into a debate that seeks to identify and answer whether it’s possible to invest in high-risk regions. In this year, the city has lost over 45 lives and 15,000 structures to fire. Sadly, researchers say that with the effects of global warming, more and frequent wildfires are to be expected. The situation is much worse as the new developments are extending further into the wild lands covered with forests and foothills.

However, there is a silver line in the dark cloud as new data, and mapping tools indicate that there is a possibility of identifying fire-prone areas. In such areas, the governments have put measures that require homes to get constructed using fire-resistant materials. However, in the wake of more destructive fires, questions have risen on the viability of the measures. As of today, authorities need to consider the danger posed to the residents and the firefighters in the event of wildfire outbreaks.

Some land managers suggest that the local government should meet the cost of rebuilding. Another section wants new developers to incur substantial fines for impinging on wild land. The measures will go further to discourage the development of new structures in the wild area. On the other hand, constructing near freeways exposes the dwellers to health problems associated with the inhalation of polluted gas. Looking at the situation from all angles, it’s evident that the city needs a supply of extra homes. But where do they turn? The fire-prone wild-land? The flood-plains?

The options narrow down each new day with the only option left in developing and redeveloping the cities. Perhaps, maximize on the underutilized lots. While it may be an option, it’s expensive, and the politics of achieving the goals are complicated.