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California Legislature

This is why California's Legislature can't fix the state's housing problems

An apartment complex in Hollywood (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
An apartment complex in Hollywood (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

For 50 years, California has had a law that aims to encourage developers to build housing. 

But the law has failed at helping stem the statewide shortage of homes that drives California’s affordability problems. The reason? The law requires cities and counties to produce prodigious reports to plan for housing — but it doesn’t hold them accountable for any resulting home building.

Cities and counties resent the law. To avoid complying, they've asked the state to let prison beds count toward their low-income housing goals, among other things. And despite knowing about the law's weaknesses for decades, state lawmakers have provided no incentive, such as a greater share of tax dollars, for cities and counties to meet their housing goals.

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