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Capitol Roundup: How To Reduce Housing Costs, New Campaign Finance Tool


Study: To Lower Housing Costs, California Should Look To Private Sector

The best way to reduce California’s skyrocketing housing prices might not be what many housing advocates have called for.

A new report by the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office suggests more private, market-rate housing would be more effective than government-subsidized affordable housing.

The report’s author, Brian Uhler, says even if the market-rate housing is too expensive for poor Californians to purchase, it can still reduce their rents by increasing the overall housing supply.

“By building the market-rate housing and helping to provide some supply for those more affluent households, you can help to lessen the spillover effect and lessen this competition between middle-income households and low-income households,” Uhler says.

The study found that although government-subsidized affordable housing does help, it cannot be provided on a wide enough scale to address the overall problem of California’s high cost-of-living.

Tracking Independent Political Spending In California Just Got Easier

There’s a new way to track spending on California political campaigns from outside groups.

It’s a partnership between the California Secretary of State’s office and the nonpartisan research group MapLight, which tracks money in politics to advocate for campaign finance disclosure.

MapLight’s Daniel Newman calls the new “Power Search” tool a big improvement over the Secretary of State’s current system, which is slow and outdated.

“Prior to this, you would have to dig down into these electronic forms on the SOS’s old CalAccess site,“ Newman says, “and it might take you hours to find information that you can find in a few seconds with the new search tool.”

The new system allows searches for independent expenditures for and against candidates and ballot measures.

Newman says it’s not the complete modernization that California needs but is a good short-term step.



Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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