CA State Capitol By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

The California Legislature last week passed more than a dozen housing bills in an effort to quell ever increasing cost of living in the state. The bills are aimed at accelerating the pace of new housing construction. Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign all 15 of them.

Two of the bills guarantee new funding for subsidized affordable housing. Another two make it harder for cities to block new projects by streamlining the approval process in cities that have not met state housing goals, and also making it harder for cities to deny home building that complies with local rules.

While California’s economy has bounced back strongly since the Great Recession,   housing has become out of reach for many state residents, forcing them to live far from their workplaces and contributing in part to the nation’s highest poverty rate. The state is one of the hardest to build new homes in. It added 544,000 households between 2009 and 2014, but built only 467,000 new homes, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

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