Backed with significant funding and new housing laws, California’s state housing officials now have a lot more authority to ease affordability problems.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed three top bureaucrats to make the new policies work: Lourdes Castro Ramírez, secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency; Gustavo Velasquez, director of the state Department of Housing and Community Development; and Tiena Johnson Hall, executive director of the California Housing Finance Agency.
On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we interview the three housing chiefs. We explore their positions on housing production, rent control and how they plan to make California a more affordable place to live. We also discuss some troubles with the state’s $5-billion COVID-19 rental assistance program and the successful effort to convert motel rooms into homeless housing.
“Gimme Shelter,”a biweekly podcast that looks at why it’s so expensive to live in California and what the state can do about it, features Liam Dillon, who covers housing affordability issues for the Los Angeles Times, and Manuela Tobías, housing reporter for CalMatters.