Living in decent, affordable, and reasonably located housing is one of the most important determinants of well-being for every Californian.

California has long been more expensive than most of the rest of the country. Beginning in about 1970, however, the gap between California’s home prices and those in the rest country started to widen. Between 1970 and 1980, California home prices went from 30 percent above U.S. levels to more than 80 percent higher.

Though this report focuses on high housing costs, California also faces other significant housing challenges meriting legislative consideration, including: (1) facilitating housing
options for the state’s homeless individuals and families; (2) mitigating adverse health effects related to living in substandard housing or housing near sources of pollution; and (3) removing noneconomic barriers to housing, such as race, ethnicity, gender, and disability status. These challenges are beyond the scope of this report. However, addressing the state’s high housing costs, as a broad goal, could help mitigate other housing-related problems and thus improve the lives of many Californians.

This study analyses and explains the costs of housing in California, the causes and consequences of high housing prices, and essentially the graphics and data to explain cost burdened housing.


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