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Is more urban sprawl the solution to California’s housing crisis?


Source: Orange County Register
In a state where vacant homes and apartments are scarce and where rents and house prices are out of control, state leaders and experts have proposed a host of solutions. Build more homes, build them in higher-density developments and build them in existing cities and suburbs, closer to jobs and transit to reduce pollution and congestion, they say.
A Chapman University fellow offered a more traditional solution: urban sprawl. Rather than limit new construction to apartments and condos in “infill” development, California needs to build more houses, using vacant land in interior communities like the Inland Empire and the Central Valley, said Joel Kotkin, Chapman’s RC Hobbs Presidential Fellow in urban futures and co-author of a new report on millennials’ housing needs.
Kotkin was a guest speaker at a California Association of Realtors forum in Sacramento streamed over FaceBook. “Millennials contemplate unaffordable housing that could compel them to leave California,” said the report, “Fading Promise: Millennial Prospects in the Golden State. Nothing,” the report states, “could improve housing affordability than to restore the competitive market for land by permitting greenfield development.”
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