What if California put affordable housing on golf courses?

In summary

In this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” Manuela Tobias of CalMatters and Liam Dillon of the Los Angeles Times sit down with Assemblyman Cristina Garcia to discuss a bill that would allow for affordable housing on select golf courses.



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California has reached a broad consensus that it needs more affordable housing. Disputes arise over where that housing should go – especially when towns in dense urban environments along the coast say the space just isn’t there.

A replica ? Building on golf courses. The state boasts more than 1,000 golf courses, a quarter of which are publicly owned, and several studies have found Some of these operate at million dollar losses. Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, a Democrat from Bell Gardens, owns several golf courses in her densely populated Los Angeles County district, and has proposed to encourage cities to develop some of them in housing in a bill this year.

“They think we need 1.3 million new homes in Southern California in the next few years. There’s nowhere else to go when you have that much density,” Garcia said.

But just like cities opposed to a recent state law to increase housing density, golfers are angry.

In this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” Manuela Tobias of CalMatters and Liam Dillon of the Los Angeles Times sit down with Garcia to discuss what happens when a proposed solution to the housing crisis threatens a small but noisy contingent.

Podcast editing by Victor Figueroa.

Suggested problems with Gimme Shelter

Manuela is the housing reporter for CalMatters. His stories focus on the political dynamics and economic and racial inequalities that have contributed to California’s housing crisis and its potential…

Michael C. Ford