Housing remains a hot topic in California, primarily, the lack there of. How did we get here?
"A California for Everyone" addresses one major issue affecting the development of quality housing: CEQA.
CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act) was signed into law by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1970. It was meant to protect the environment from corporate and private interest. However, it is being used as a way to oppose any development with only 13% of the lawsuits from a recognizable environmental group.
Unless the law is reformed, taxpayers and future homeowners will continue to pay the high costs of litigation under the guise of CEQA.
CEQA Reform calls for two changes: Required Transparency and to Eliminate Duplicative Lawsuits.
Many of the lawsuits are filed from "Friends of..." organizations who are not required to identify themselves. And, since there is no transparency, multiple suits can be filed.
The developer must go to court for each lawsuit filed. If they win, then they are able to move forward with the project, until the next lawsuit is filed. If they loose, then they are required to pay the attorney fees of the opposing party. Either way, the project suffers with the litigation and delay costs being passed on to the future homeowner.
Regardless of your point of view on the housing crisis, I recommend this short documentary created by "A California for Everyone" and consider if our legislation should make changes to the current CEQA law, for the benefit of our residents and the future of our state.