The telltale signs of income inequality, skyrocketing housing costs and chronic homelessness point to a grim reality. California is in a severe, escalating affordable housing crisis.
Again and again, leaders in Sacramento have identified the lack of available, suitable land as one of the main obstacles to affordable housing development. State and local agencies have expended millions in planning efforts to identify such available lands and prioritize them for housing.
But in the Inland Empire, decision makers seem unfazed by this reality and are enacting policies as if there were a warehouse crisis instead.
An astonishing 1 billion square feet of warehouse space has been built in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, with an additional 170 million square feet already approved or pending approval. Warehouses are increasing at a rate five times faster than population growth.
What’s most alarming is that cities and counties are approving massive logistics centers on land zoned for homes. At a time when we should be investing in affordable housing near transit and jobs, our decision makers vote to demolish neighborhoods, displacing residents and rolling out the welcome mat for industrial developers.
These untenable land-use decisions permanently eliminate prime real estate from home construction and bring in pollution that poisons the air for those who remain.