More than four in 10 California adults are seriously considering moving away from their part of the state because of the cost of housing, with the highest proportion in the coastal counties and the lowest in the state’s interior.

A slight majority of those recently surveyed by the Public Policy Institute of California — 55 percent — are staying put.

Along the expensive coastal areas the numbers are greatest: 53 percent in Orange/San Diego Counties, 49 percent in the Bay Area and 45 percent in Los Angeles, while it drops to 41 percent in the Inland Empire, and 35 percent in the Central Valley.

Strong majorities of adults favor building more housing in their communities to meet the current need in their part of the state (64 percent), believe that housing affordability is a big problem in their part of the state (59 percent) and favor changing California’s environmental regulations and local permitting process to make housing more affordable (61 percent). Seven out of 10 support a state bond to pay for affordable housing projects. 


Every demographic group supports changing environmental regulations and local permitting process as a ways to make housing affordable in California.  Sixty-nine percent of Conservatives support reducing regulation to boost housing development, an interesting juxtaposition with Republicans who don’t want to see more housing built but.  Sixty-three percent of moderates, and even a majority of Liberals (53 percent) support changing environmental regulations and the permitting process.

“I’m not opposed to environmental regulations except they get stupid and they start regulating things that shouldn’t be regulated and put a burden on people,” said Robert Shields of Fresno.

Among racial groups, Latinos (80 percent), African-Americans (72 percent) are most supportive of changing regulations and permitting processes, followed by Asian (58 percent) and whites (47%).

While a few groups don’t want to see more housing, 9 out of 10 adults believe housing affordability is a problem in their part of California, that includes 92 percent of African-Americans, 85 percent of Asians, 86 percent of Latinos, and 88 percent of whites.  The Bay Area is bleeding the most where 93 percent say it’s a problem, 90 percent in Los Angeles, 88 percent in Orange/San Diego, 81 percent in the Inland Empire, 79 percent Central Valley.