The policies HCD creates are in response to California's current housing challenges.
Those challenges include:
- Not enough housing being built: During the last ten years, housing production averaged fewer than 80,000 new homes each year, and ongoing production continues to fall far below the projected need of 180,000 additional homes annually.
- Increased inequality and lack of opportunities: Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding growing inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for younger Californians. Without intervention, much of the new housing growth is expected to be focused in areas where fewer jobs are available to the families that live there.
- Too much of people's incomes going toward rent: The majority of Californian renters — more than 3 million households — pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent, and nearly one-third — more than 1.5 million households — pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
- Fewer people becoming homeowners: Overall homeownership rates are at their lowest since the 1940s.
- Disproportionate number of Californians experiencing homelessness: California is home to 12 percent of the nation’s population, but a disproportionate 22 percent of the nation’s homeless population.
- Many people facing multiple, seemingly insurmountable barriers — beyond just cost — in trying to find an affordable place to live: For California’s vulnerable populations, discrimination and inadequate accommodations for people with disabilities are worsening housing cost and affordability challenges.
While the state's housing challenges appear overwhelming, California's housing crisis is a solvable issue. With focus and continued support, California can begin to reverse the course.