Live Online Conference

Crisis: Housing and Homelessness in California

September 22, 2020
10:00AM — 1:15PM PDT
(1:00PM — 4:15PM EDT)

September 23, 2020
10:00AM — 1:45PM PDT
(1:00PM — 4:45PM EDT)

Live Online

Featuring Micah Weinberg, California Forward; Jennifer Hernandez, Holland & Knight; Ricardo Flores, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Laura Foote, YIMBY Action; Steven Falk, Interim City Administrator, City of Oakland; Sonja Trauss, YIMBY Law; Adrian Covert, Bay Area Council; Kevin Faulconer, Mayor of San Diego; Lee Ohanian, UCLA; Corrin Buchanan, California Department of Social Services; Elaine Howle, California State Auditor; Michael Tanner, Cato Institute.

For more information on Cato’s Project on Poverty and Inequality in California click here.

Any effort to address poverty and inequality in California must start with the lack of affordable housing. The median home price in the state now tops $500,000, while the median rent for a two‐​bedroom apartment tops $1,800 per month, nearly 55 percent higher than the national median. In cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, average rent exceeds $2,500 per month. The high cost of housing is largely a function of high demand and low supply. Estimates show that California needs 3.5 million housing units by 2025 just to meet current needs.

At the same time, there are an estimated 130,000 homeless people in the state, including around 28,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area and 60,000 in Los Angeles County alone. But even often‐​overlooked cities such as San Diego have homeless populations in excess of 8,000. By some calculations, more than 47 percent of all unhoused homeless people in America reside in California. We are witnessing a major human tragedy; one that is only being made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the heart of these twin crises lies a plethora of government regulations and policies that makes it harder to build affordable housing or to assist the homeless. Therefore, the Cato Institute is bringing together academic experts, housing activists, and political leaders from across the ideological spectrum to discuss ways in which state and local officials can make housing more available and affordable.

PROGRAM

All sessions will be held in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

September 22, 2020

10:00 - 10:15AM
Welcome

Michael Tanner, Cato Institute
10:15 - 10:45AM
Opening Remarks

Micah Weinberg, California Forward
10:45 - 11:00AM
Break
11:00AM - 12:15PM
Panel Discussion: Barriers to Affordable Housing

Jennifer Hernandez, Holland & Knight
Ricardo Flores, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Laura Foote, YIMBY Action
12:15 - 12:30PM
Break
12:30 - 1:15PM
California Crisis: A Discussion

Steven Falk, Interim City Administrator, City of Oakland
Sonja Trauss, YIMBY Law

September 23, 2020

10:00 - 10:15AM
Welcome

Michael Tanner, Cato Institute
10:15 - 10:45AM
Opening Remarks

Corrin Buchanan, Assistant Director of Housing and Homelessness, California Department of Social Services
10:45 - 11:00AM
Break
11:00AM - 12:15PM
Panel Discussion: The Growing Crisis of Homelessness

Adrian Covert, Bay Area Council
Kevin Faulconer, Mayor of San Diego
Elaine Howle, California State Auditor
12:15 - 12:30 PM
Break
12:30 - 1:30PM
Closing Address: Recommendations for Reform

Lee Ohanian, UCLA
1:30 - 1:45PM
Afterward

Michael Tanner, Cato Institute