California lawmakers sped to the close of the legislative session on Friday, addressing one of their signature issues with a sweeping package of bills aiming to address the state’s crippling housing costs.
The bills expect to raise billions in funding to help finance the construction thousands of new homes for the state’s low-income residents. They also attempt to ease local regulations on home building — a necessary move, lawmakers said, to help middle-class Californians who are now overwhelmed by costs.
Even though lawmakers hailed Friday’s votes as historic, the bills won’t put much of a dent in California’s affordability problems. The state will remain billions of dollars short annually of the money needed to finance new homes for the neediest Californians, according to state and third-party estimates of the legislation. Similarly, tens of thousands of additional new homes will be needed each year simply to keep pace with population growth.