Opinion

Housing supply key to successful coronavirus recovery

A panoramic view of housing in an Anaheim neighborhood. (Photo: NAPA, via Shutterstock)

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the critical importance of housing supply at center stage: without shelter, it’s impossible to shelter-in-place. Fortunately, more than 200,000 REALTORS® across our state are at the front lines of protecting and expanding the dream of homeownership for all Californians now and for generations to come.

The global pandemic is testing our state, our country and the world, and many aspects of our lives have changed as a result.

Housing will be an essential part of our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

While we still do not know how all those impacts are going to affect us going forward, one thing we know won’t change is the need for housing in this state. While the housing market has slowed dramatically as Californians observe the state’s stay-at-home order, it will come to the fore again in our “new normal.” Homeownership remains the lifeblood of our state’s economy and is pivotal to long-term wealth creation for middle class and working families.

The California Association of Realtors thanks our state’s elected officials for their leadership during this challenging time. However, as California gradually reopens, our elected officials can’t lose sight of the need to work to solve the state’s severe housing shortage. Without addressing this head on as part of our state’s broader recovery, Californians will continue to face high and increasing home prices and rents just when they need financial support the most. 

The housing market led California’s economic recovery out of the Great Recession of 2008. The housing market forecast for 2020 is, as with other sectors of the economy, uncertain, but we are confident history will repeat itself, and housing will be an essential part of our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

But, without additional housing supply, California’s COVID-19 recovery and long-term economic success is at risk. What better way to jumpstart our state’s return to normalcy than providing the natural stimulus of housing creation with bold housing production reform?

There are several bills before the state Legislature this year that will spur housing creation, and in particular, we welcome and thank Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins for her introduction of five housing production bills. These bills, and we hope others, must be part of the state’s plan for a historic and progressive recovery. Realtors stand ready to help usher in California’s post-coronavirus era with supply-oriented solutions to our housing crisis.

Editor’s Note: 
Jeanne Radsick, a Bakersfield Realtor, is president of the California Association of Realtors.


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