Housing supply

Homelessness is a housing supply problem. Light Touch Density could be the solution, according to an AEI study

Addressing the Root Causes of Homelessness: Unaffordable Housing

WASHINGTON, August 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — California more than a fifth1 of the total homeless population in United States, well above its population share of 12%. Between 2019 and 2020, homelessness in California increased by 6.8% – the most United States. Cities have been quick to respond with more money dedicated to addressing homelessness: Over the past two years, the two San Francisco and Los Angeles municipal governments responded by pledging $1.1 billion to fight homelessness.2

But these same cities have been dragging their feet in tackling the root cause of the homelessness crisis: a lack of housing supply that is driving up the price of housing for everyone. The American Enterprise Institute is hosting a series of talks promoting “Light Touch Density,” with a plan to build more homes for Californians in a wide price range. Increasing supply in this way will help tackle affordability, one of the root causes of homelessness.

California the supply of housing has not kept pace with its population growth, driving up prices for both owners and renters. The link between the cost of housing and the rate of homelessness has been documented. Communities that bear the cost of housing (spend more than 30% of their income) see a rapid increase in homelessness.3 More than 50% of renters and almost 40% of owners with mortgages have to bear the cost of housing in California.4

One of the keys to lower housing prices and rents is to reduce lot sizes and increase housing diversity. A recent AEI study shows that light touch density expands the price range that can buy and rent in a neighborhood. For example, in San Diego Countyslight increases in the density of single-family homes in newly developed subdivisions would result in the construction of 31% more homes per year and a 10% reduction in home prices.

Recently enacted SBs 9 and 10 will address California housing supply crisis by facilitating light contact density and walking oriented development. These bills allow owners to take advantage of the value of their land and unlock the economic potential. Join the AEI September 19-23 to learn how you can be part of the solution for California housing supply crisis.

Registration is open for 6 free conferences in California to be held the week of September 19, 2022.

These conferences are free and open to all. Please pass them on to anyone else who might be interested. Each conference will be filled with information and presentations to help solve the most pressing housing issues facing Californians.

Visit aei.org/california-housing-conference to register

Calendar of AEI Housing Center conferences:

Monday, September 19, 2022

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

San Francisco



Hotel Nikko

The citizen hotel

The Doubletree by Hilton Fresno

222 Mason Street

926 J Street

Congress Palace

9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. PDT (including lunch)

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PDT (including lunch)

2233 Ventura Street

9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. PDT (including lunch)

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Friday, September 23, 2022


Los Angeles

San Diego

Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

The only hotel

Westin San Diego Gas Lamp

3649 Mission Inn Avenue

8490 Sunset Blvd West


8:30 p.m.–12:30 p.m. PDT (including lunch)

3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PDT (reception)

910 Broadway Circle

9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. PDT (including lunch)

1 world population review
2 San Francisco Chronicle; Spectrum News
3 Zillow, “Homelessness increases fastest where rent exceeds one-third of income.”
4 California Budget and Policy Center,”California The housing affordability crisis is hitting renters and the lowest income households the hardest.”

Media Contacts:

Arthur Gailles
American Enterprise Institute Housing Center
washington d.c.
[email protected]