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Little Hoover Commission Hearing on Creating Affordable Housing: The State and Local Relationship

Last month, our Managing Director Ben Metcalf gave testimony to the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency, on the critical role that data and data-informed policy making must play in state housing.

In his testimony, Metcalf outlines actions the State of California might take to increase the overall supply of housing, particularly in the context of its longstanding housing planning oversight role with local city and county governments. Specifically, he argues that the state should 1) rely on objective estimates of likelihood of residential development when approving city and county housing plans under State Housing Element Law; 2) encourage cities to model the impacts of proposed housing policies, such as impact fees, parking requirements, or inclusionary housing impositions, prior to enactment of those policies; and 3) use data-informed strategies to direct the staff and capacity resources of State’s new Housing Accountability Unit, an enforcement division within the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Undergirding these recommendations is the premise that the state must invest substantially in the coming years into new data systems and into building out the technical capacity of the state and local governmental actors to use those data systems.

Watch the full testimony below (Metcalf’s testimony begins at 1:39), and read the written testimony here.

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