Homelessness is a housing supply issue. Light Touch Density could be the solution, AEI study shows

Addressing root causes of homelessness: Unaffordable housing

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — California has over one-fifth1 of the total homeless population in the United States, well above its population share of 12%. Between 2019 and 2020, homelessness in California increased by 6.8%– the most in the United States. Cities have been quick to respond with more money directed towards fighting homelessness: In the past two years, both San Francisco and Los Angeles city governments have responded by pledging $1.1 billion to fight homelessness.2

But those same cities have dragged their feet when addressing the core cause of the homelessness crisis: a lack of housing supply that drives up the price of housing for all. The American Enterprise Institute is hosting a series of conferences promoting “Light Touch Density”, with a blueprint for building more housing for Californians across a broad range of price points. Adding to supply in this way will help address unaffordability, one of the root causes of homelessness.

California’s housing supply has failed to keep pace with its population growth, leading to higher prices for homeowners and renters alike. The link between cost of housing and the rate of homelessness has been documented. Communities that are cost burdened for housing (spend more than 30% of their income) see a rapid increase in homelessness.3 Over 50% of renters and almost 40% of homeowners with mortgages are cost burdened for housing in California.4

One of the keys to lowering housing and rental prices is decreasing lot sizes and increasing housing diversity. A recent AEI study shows that light touch density widens the range of price points that can buy and rent in a neighborhood. For example, in San Diego County, light-touch increases in single family detached density in newly developed subdivisions would result in 31% more homes built per year and a 10% reduction in home prices.

The recently enacted SB 9 and 10 will address California’s housing supply crisis by facilitating Light Touch Density and Walkable Oriented Development. These bills enable homeowners take advantage of their land’s value and unlock economic potential. Join AEI September 19-23 to learn how you can be part of the solution to California’s housing supply crisis.

Registration is open for 6 California free conferences to be held the week of September 19, 2022.

These conferences are free and open to all—please forward to anyone else who might have an interest. Each conference will be packed with information and presentations to help to tackle the most pressing housing issues facing Californians.

Visit aei.org/california-housing-conference to register

AEI Housing Center Conference Schedule:

Monday, Sept. 19, 2022

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022

San Francisco



Hotel Nikko

The Citizen Hotel

The Doubletree by Hilton Fresno

222 Mason Street

926 J Street

Convention Center

9:00am–1:00pm PDT (Incl. Lunch)

9:00am– 1:00pm PDT (Incl. Lunch)

2233 Ventura St

9:00am–1:00pm PDT (Incl. Lunch)

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022

Friday, Sept. 23, 2022


Los Angeles

San Diego

Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

The One Hotel

Westin San Diego Gaslamp

3649 Mission Inn Avenue

8490 West Sunset Boulevard


8:30–12:30pm PDT (Incl. Lunch)

3:00–7:00pm PDT (Reception)

910 Broadway Circle

9:00am–1:00pm PDT (Incl. Lunch)

1 World Population Review
2 San Francisco Chronicle; Spectrum News
3 Zillow, “Homelessness Rises Faster Where Rent Exceeds a Third of Income.”
4 California Budget & Policy Center, “California’s Housing Affordability Crisis Hits Renters and Households With the Lowest Incomes the Hardest.”

Media Contact Details:

Arthur Gailes
American Enterprise Institute Housing Center
Washington, DC
[email protected]

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/homelessness-is-a-housing-supply-issue-light-touch-density-could-be-the-solution-aei-study-shows-301612692.html


Homelessness is a housing supply issue. Light Touch Density could be the solution, AEI study shows WeeklyReviewer

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