Urban Sprawl Could Alleviate California’s Housing Crisis

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May 05, 2017

California has a shortage of available, affordable homes, and the prevailing wisdom is to build more houses in high-density developments in major cities. Joel Kotkin, a Chapman University fellow, wants to go the other way.

According to the OC Register, Kotkin suggests that the state should build houses on vacant land in interior communities within the state, such as in the Inland Empire and the Central Valley.

Critics argue that more sprawl will increase transportation costs and pollution, and that that younger buyers prefer the city life. Kotkin says that high-density construction is 7.5 times more expensive than building houses, and that younger buyers don’t want to rent expensive properties. They want to own.

“What we’re seeing is an attempt to re-engineer Southern California into something that it’s not,” Kotkin said in an interview before Tuesday’s presentation. “High-density housing is not a substitute for building houses. The vast majority of people … want a house.”

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