California Housing Shortage Getting More Attention

Albert Niemi, dean of SMU's Cox School of Business, is quoted about the reason for Toyota moving its headquarters to North Texas in a story about the shortage of housing for low- and middle-income families

By Ed Coghlan

California’s housing shortage has been picking up steam as a political and economic issue. The California Economic Summit targeted the issue in 2015. With supply falling far below demand, California needs to build at least one million more homes for low and middle-income Californians in the next ten years.

State resources are constrained and communities face numerous obstacles to building more homes close to jobs. Those “obstacles” include uncertainty around infrastructure financing to lengthy approval processes. The Summit is leading a comprehensive effort aimed at reducing costs and increasing the supply of housing for Californians.

From across the state, voices are being raised that something needs to be done.

Ray Pearl opined in a Capitol Weekly op-ed that the state needs to turn its attention to the housing issue. He said the housing shortage is hurting the state’s economy.

For instance, Pearl writes, “When Toyota announced last year that it would move its headquarters out of Torrance, California, some blamed our state’s taxes and regulation. But newer reports show a different culprit. ‘It was really about affordable housing,’ said insider Albert Niemi, dean of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. Toyota’s departure – along with 3,000 workers and their spending power – is another wake-up call that we can no longer ignore California’s housing crisis."

Read the full story.

Read Niemi's interview with The Dallas Business Journal about the Toyota move.