California Bill to Address Housing Shortage Blocked by Lawmakers

(Bloomberg) -- A widely publicized bill that sought to address California’s worst-in-the-nation housing shortage was blocked Thursday by state legislators, complicating Governor Gavin Newsom’s efforts to deliver on a key campaign promise.

Senate Bill 50 would allow higher density near public transit and permit as many as four homes on lots that are now zoned for single-family dwellings. On Thursday, the appropriations committee said it won’t come up for a vote until next year.

Housing has become a flash point in California politics. For years, the state has failed to build enough new units to accommodate population growth. That’s sent median home prices soaring far faster than people’s incomes and contributed to a homelessness crisis. Newsom campaigned for governor last year, in part, on a bold plan to address the shortage.

“I’m disappointed by the committee’s decision,” Newsom said in a statement. “California must address the housing supply shortage head on, and we need to be able to use every tool in the toolkit to address this systemic crisis.”

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