Housing never has been more valuable than it is in today’s California—the average Golden State home is worth nearly a half-million dollars, more than two-and-a-half times the national average. Such prices reflect the enduring appeal of California as a place to live, and rising home values have helped millions of California homeowners to build the wealth they need to pay for their children’s education and their own retirement. But what are the hidden costs of this over-the-top home equity to California, its economy, and the aspirations of longtime residents as well as newcomers? What kind of pressures do soaring housing costs place on Californians—from young families struggling to buy first homes and achieve financial security, to older working people who want to retire but fear whether they can’t afford to keep living here? How much of a factor are housing prices in the decisions of Californians to live further from their jobs or depart the state entirely? California Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, AARP housing policy expert Rodney Harrell, executive director of Housing California Lisa Hershey, and dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Gary Segura visit Zócalo to examine how our state’s housing market boom both enables and endangers the California dream of independence, the good life, and having a home of one’s own.
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