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California has a housing crisis, but people don't like the solution: density




An under-construction five-story commercial building, left, sits adjacent to a two-story Victorian house, Angel's Attic Museum, on Colorado Boulevard between Fifth and Sixth Streets in Santa Monica.
An under-construction five-story commercial building, left, sits adjacent to a two-story Victorian house, Angel's Attic Museum, on Colorado Boulevard between Fifth and Sixth Streets in Santa Monica.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

California has a housing crisis and the state says there’s a culprit – ourselves. There’s too much demand for housing, and home construction has not been fast enough to meet those demands.

Officials like Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti are racing to get construction going.

”I set the goal of building 100,000 units of housing in the city by 2021," he said in his recent State of the City address.

Getting there is another matter. Southern California is synonymous with sprawl, but there are few open spaces of land that can still be developed while being reasonably close to jobs.

Instead of spreading out, Santa Monica is one of the first communities to look up. Tuesday night its city council votes on a controversial zoning code that would allow for taller buildings that can fit more housing units. However, "density" has become a four-letter word.

KPCC's Leo Duran explains there are creative ways that officials, planners and developers try to sell Southern Californians that it's okay to live a little closer to your neighbor.