first_imgWhile economists debate the existence of a real estate bubble, developers, housing advocates and some politicians are pushing for major changes in the way Southern California plans and builds homes. In economic symposiums and housing summits, academic studies and advocacy reports, experts are pushing for more home construction and denser cities. Build more housing, and the price will come down. Build taller buildings, then you can fit more homes in existing communities. Some say existing communities are too resistant to new homes and apartment buildings, a “not in my backyard” attitude that kills new for-sale and rental housing projects. In Fontana, a San Bernardino County community mushrooming with new home developments, city leaders touted plans for three luxury apartment complexes, saying they would provide housing for young teachers and police officers unable to afford a new home. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 But after neighboring homeowners complained that renters would bring crime and overcrowding and drive down their property values, two of the projects have been canceled and replaced with plans to build for-sale condos or small homes, which will likely be less affordable than the apartments. “People who are here and have it, they want to pull up the drawbridge and not let anybody else in. We need to find a way to become more tolerant as a community,” said Robert J. Norris, executive vice president of Century Housing, which provides loans for low- and moderate-income projects. Local governments also are getting involved, creating public funds to spur private housing projects – though some question whether government should be subsidizing the private sector. Los Angeles has created an affordable housing trust fund, and city leaders are considering asking voters to approve a bond that would underwrite new housing construction for poor and middle-class families. Long Beach is considering tapping hotel taxes and developer fees to create a similar fund to provide low- and moderate-income families with mortgage assistance, and to help developers build below-market-rate houses. Self-described optimist Delores Conway of USC’s Lusk School of Real Estate believes Southern Californians are flexible enough to fix the housing problem. “In Southern California, there are a myriad of factors – culture, economics, a tradition of creativity – that enable us to solve our problems. We have a beautiful state and a beautiful place to live and they want to preserve that.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img