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California Gubernatorial Candidates Reveal Glimpse at Real Estate Policies

Progressive Democrat Gavin Newsom and Trump-endorsed Republican John Cox emerged victorious amid a crowded primary field and will face off for the Governorship in November.

Although it may be too early in the election process for a thorough review of either candidate’s agenda; it is possible to glean some insights into their positions on real estate policy based on prior interviews, official debates and campaign speeches.

The candidates’ professional backgrounds are also particularly revealing on real estate policy. Cox, 62, is a multi-millionaire real estate investor with a Presidential endorsement. While Newsom, 50, is a former mayor of San Francisco and currently serving his second term as Lieutenant Governor. Newsom is the expected frontrunner, but as evidenced in the 2016 Presidential election – anything can happen.

Affordable Housing and Homelessness

Affordable housing and homelessness are two key issues for voters this election cycle.

Given his progressive bona fides, Newsom is expected to push for government solutions to the housing crisis. He is in favor of a five-fold increase to a California tax credit aimed at financing low-income housing that would bring the state budget cost to $500 million.

Newsom advocates rent control expansion and plans to link transportation funding to affordable housing goals. If elected, he plans to create a new cabinet position, State Homelessness Secretary to oversee an Interagency Council on Homelessness.

In contrast, Cox is expected to look to private-public partnerships to address the housing crisis rather than tax increases. He is against the Affordable Housing Bond Act, a ballot measure that would expand rent control by repealing the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

(The Costa Hawkins Act gives landlords of residential apartments permission to raise rents as much as they want in buildings built after 1995.)

A New California Housing Boom on the Horizon? Not Likely.

Newsom is pushing for developers to build a half million homes in a year and to continue to build at that pace for another seven years straight totaling 3.5 million new homes by 2025. Numbers like that have never occurred in California’s history. Experts regard this goal as an empty promise.

Cox, on the other hand, has set a slightly more realistic goal of 3 million new homes over the next ten years. His stated position is that the state should reduce regulations on builders. He supports replacing the California Environmental Quality Act – the state’s primary law regulating development – with less comprehensive legislation.

The upcoming gubernatorial election will have a tremendous impact on the real estate market going forward. Lambert Investments can be your partner in navigating the changes. Contact us  today for more information.