UCLA Labor Center

Do Bills Build Homes? An Assessment of California’s 2017 Housing Package

2018 / Thomas Abbot, Maxwell Albrecht, Roxana Aslan, Eve Bachrach, Soham Dhesi, Edgar Garcia, Khalilha Haynes, Liana Katz, Katrina Lapira, Lolly Lim, Sonia Suresh, Abigail Willis, Kenny Wong

Authored by the 2018 Community Scholars, this report is an effort to understand the landmark package of 15 housing bills passed by the California Legislature last year aimed at addressing the steadily worsening housing crisis in the state. The report considers the impact the bills will have in curbing the housing crisis in Los Angeles County. Each bill is grouped into one of five areas of analysis according to the part of the housing problem they address:

  • Planning and Siting
  • Funding Affordable Housing
  • Streamlining and Special Zones
  • Capturing Land Value
  • Preserving Affordable Units

To understand the impact the proposed changes within the new legislation would have on local planning efforts, the authors conducted interviews with over 50 housing advocates, city and county planners, affordable and market-rate developers, consultants, and others active in the world of California housing policy. Four of the 15 bills impact a jurisdiction’s Housing Element – a necessary tool through which jurisdiction’s plan for future housing. To better evaluate how these changes would affect different jurisdictions in Los Angeles County, the authors conducted three Housing Element case studies: Santa Monica, Inglewood, Azusa.

The Community Scholars Program:

Community Scholars is a joint program of the UCLA Department of Urban Planning, the UCLA Labor Center and the Institute for Research on Labor & Employment that provides advocates, community developers and organizers an opportunity to work on a unique applied research project that furthers the goals of the progressive community development in Los Angeles. This year,  Community Scholars worked with UCLA Urban Planning graduate students to address an important policy challenge and formulate a response that furthers a social justice agenda. The Community Scholars provided research for the Community Development Project of Public Counsel.