NAR Addresses Rental Housing Issues in California: Supporting Affordable Options and Protecting Property Rights

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The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recognizes the pressing issue of rental housing in California, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to eviction moratoriums, rent freezes, a shortage of available residential for those looking to buy, and a significant increase in inflation. NAR understands the intricate system of rights and responsibilities that exist between residence providers and residents, which are governed by the lease contract and various state and local regulations, enforced by the judicial system.

In addition to state and local regulations, the federal government also plays a role in rental housing through its various grants and programs aimed at providing affordable housing options for low-income residents, like the program Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher NAR supports efforts to improve these programs and reduce barriers to new construction while opposing any federal overreach that could unnecessarily complicate the already complex patchwork of laws and regulations.

California’s State and Local Governments Face Off Over Residential Quotas

To support its members and help address the affordable housing shortage, NAR provides resources and information to state and local REALTOR® associations. These resources aid in advocacy efforts against policies that threaten property rights, such as rent control, and support solutions aimed at addressing the affordable residence crisis.

Battle Between California’s State and Local Governments Over Housing Enters New Phase

The long-standing battle between California’s state and local governments regarding housing is entering a more confrontational phase. Local governments in the San Francisco Bay Area missed the deadline to submit plans for meeting state-imposed quotas for facilitating housing construction. These quotas require enough land to be identified for the required number of residential units and steps to be taken to make development feasible. The state aims to add 2.5 million residential units by 2030, including a million affordable units for low-income families.

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California Cracks Down on Local Governments to Meet Housing Quotas

The Department of Housing and Community Development has embraced more critical oversight of the plans submitted by city and county officials, rejecting insufficient plans and threatening penalties for noncompliance, such as a loss of state housing funds. This approach is aimed at curbing the influence of local “not-in-my-backyard” (NIMBY) activists who resist state quotas and impose conditions on housing projects that make them unfeasible. The Bay Area is home to many small enclaves of wealthy families living in multi-million-dollar homes who oppose the development of apartment houses for ordinary folks lacking upper-class education and wealth, thereby preserving their neighborhoods’ bucolic ambiance.

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