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As First Legislative Session of Gov. Newsom’s Term Ends, A Look At The Future Of California Housing Policy

A home construction site of single family homes stands idled  February 24, 2009 near Riverside, California.
A home construction site of single family homes stands idled February 24, 2009 near Riverside, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

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California Governor Gavin Newsom made it clear on the campaign trail that addressing the state’s deepening housing crisis would be a cornerstone of his administration if he was elected governor.

Now, as the first legislative session of his term in office winds down, how is Governor Newsom doing on this promise, both in his own eyes and in the eyes of those who voted him into office?

The Los Angeles Times recently did a Q&A with Governor Newsom focused on how he felt about the progress he and his administration have made in addressing the issue, and Newsom called his approach “focused” and “intentional,” but added that it wasn’t a problem that could be solved overnight and pointed to legislation like Senator Scott Wiener’s bill SB 50, which aimed to increase the density of housing in single-family neighborhoods around transit, as an example of the kind of policies needed. SB 50 was ultimately blocked after lawmakers, supporters and opponents of the bill couldn’t reach an agreement on some of the details.

Still, the pushback from advocates of keeping neighborhoods zone for single-family use is strong at the state level, and it raises questions about what the future of housing legislation in California will look like, and where the single-family neighborhood fits into that vision. Today on AirTalk, Larry Mantle and his expert guests will explore these topics and take your calls on what you’d like to see included in future housing legislation. Join the conversation at 866-893-5722.


Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs; he is a former member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (1994-2014) a former member of the Los Angeles City Council (1975-1994)

David Garcia, policy director at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley

Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), State Senator representing California’s 11th Senate District, which includes all of the city and county of San Francisco, Broadmoor, Colma, Daly City, and part of South San Francisco; he tweets @Scott_Wiener