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Housing and Homelessness

California Isn’t Adding Nearly Enough Housing To Keep Up With Job Growth

An exterior of a multi-story apartment building that is being built, with a construction crane in the foreground.
A crane towers over new housing being constructed in Los Angeles.
(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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With L.A. and other Southern California governments planning for a big increase in housing over the next eight years, a new report illustrates just how poorly the state has done in keeping up with the demand.

The report’s findings won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has struggled to find an apartment after moving to L.A. for a new job: California is not adding enough housing to keep up with job creation.

In fact, California added the least number of housing units relative to new jobs of any state in the country, according to the report from real estate investment platform Stessa.

The company analyzed building permit data from the U.S. Census Bureau and jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report found that from 2010-20, California gained almost 2.5 million jobs, but built less than one million homes.

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With a rate of building one new home for every 2.54 jobs, California was a clear outlier. The state with the second worst ratio, Utah, built one home for every 1.57 new jobs.

Now, cities across Southern California are having to plan for a dramatic expansion in housing production. Under state law, the region is required to plan for 1.3 million new homes by 2029.

Some local governments have already prepared roadmaps for their share of new housing. Last week, L.A.’s city council voted on a plan to accommodate nearly half-a-million new homes over the next eight years.

What questions do you have about housing in Southern California?

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