Building a Better Future: Collaboration is Key to Solving California’s Housing Crisis

California’s housing market faces a complex challenge. The 2nd Annual Housing Policy Symposium at Claremont McKenna College on April 26th, brought together state policymakers and community leaders at the county, city and agency level, to discuss solutions to the state’s housing shortage. Here at Olson Homes, we were honored to host this important event.

The symposium painted a clear picture: California needs more housing—and fast. L.A. County Supervisor, Holly J. Mitchell, emphasized the urgency: “The projections suggest that the need throughout L.A. County is 800,000 housing units across all income levels.” This staggering statistic highlights the depth of the crisis. Mitchell continued, “The point for me now is how can we create a path forward that doesn’t continue to feed and perpetuate the conditions that have led to the magnitude of today’s housing and homelessness crisis.”

Collaboration is Key
Despite the challenges, a spirit of collaboration is building. The symposium highlighted the need for successful partnerships between governments, developers, and community organizations. These partnerships are engaging in everything from streamlining permitting processes to building supportive housing for vulnerable populations. Mayor Richardson of Long Beach echoed this sentiment, stating: “Building housing forever means that we have to work together and everyone has a part to play.”

Policy and Innovation
Policy changes are also playing a part in the solution. The impact of recent legislation like SB 9, which allows for duplexes and subdivision of existing residential lots, was a topic of discussion. There’s a clear need for ongoing funding for affordable housing programs, and attendees emphasized the importance of making permitting processes less of a hurdle for developers.

Challenges and Opportunities
The symposium acknowledged challenges, like NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) opposition and fire safety concerns in high-risk areas, but the conversation offered ways to move forward. Effective community engagement, building diverse coalitions that support housing initiatives, and focusing on fire-safe development practices were all discussed as strategies to overcome these obstacles.

A Call to Action
The 2nd Annual Housing Policy Symposium was a powerful reminder that by working together, we can create a future with more equitable and accessible housing for all Californians. We, at Olson Homes, are here to play our part.

While the symposium highlighted the multifaceted nature of California’s housing challenges it also underscored the importance of collaboration, innovation and community engagement in finding sustainable solutions. Scott Laurie, the President and CEO of Olson Homes, highlighted the need for immediate action, while acknowledging the positive steps already being taken.  “The urgency of the challenge is right now,” Laurie said, emphasizing the pressing need for action and collaboration in addressing California’s housing crisis, advocating for increased housing development to enhance affordability. Supervisor Mitchell urged attendees to be intentional and inclusive, saying, “I hope you all will be mindful of your own stories as we lock arms to figure out how to close this huge delta around housing availability for Angelenos across our region.”

Collaboration among policymakers, community leaders, and stakeholders as an essential strategy emerged as a key takeaway from the 2nd Annual Housing Policy Symposium. We agree that by working together, we can create a California where everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.

Olson Homes’ Commitment
As a homebuilder, Olson Homes is committed to being part of the solution. We believe in collaboration, and are dedicated to working with policymakers, state, county and local city officials, communities, and key stakeholders to develop innovative housing solutions. We also believe in advocating for policies that make housing more affordable and accessible. Ultimately, our goal is to build high-quality, sustainable homes that meet the needs of California’s diverse communities.


About Olson Homes
Since 1988, Olson Homes has built new home communities and new construction homes for sale near you across the SoCal region. Focused on developing walkable, attainable, flexible floorplan new homes in ideally located new home communities across Orange County and Los Angeles County, the new homes for sale from Olson Homes are close to schools, shopping, dining, transportation, and recreational options. With new home personalization choices, including appliance upgrades, cabinet finishes, flooring options, and new home automation packages, you can create the new home of your dreams. Olson Homes is a multiple Eliant Award winner, including the 2023 Best Overall Home Purchase and Ownership Experience Award. If you’re looking for a new home for sale near you, take a look at our new home communities for sale now, as well as our new homes coming soon.

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