Causes of Housing Construction Delay in Transit-Accessible and Jobs-Rich Areas in California

Research Team: Nicholas J. Marantz (lead), Jae Hong Kim, and Doug Houston

University: UC Irvine

Problem Statement: State laws, as well as regional transportation and sustainable development plans, call for substantial new development in transit-accessible and job-rich areas to address chronic housing shortages, expand affordable housing, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But policy makers have limited information about: (i) the effects of transportation laws and plans on developers' decisions whether and where to build housing; and (ii) factors contributing to delays in permitting and building in target areas. Because development entitlement processes vary substantially by jurisdiction and local context, policy makers require more detailed information about the factors that affect development decisions and cause construction delays in jobs-rich and transit accessible areas.

Project Description: This project will investigate the factors that affect development decisions and construction delay by using the Comprehensive Assessment of Land-Use Entitlements (CALES) dataset, a unique resource providing extensive data regarding permitting, reviews, and litigation for more than 1,000 residential projects of five units or more in seven Southern California jurisdictions. The research will examine factors that (i) affect decisions about whether and where to build infill projects in job-rich and transit-accessible locations, and (ii) contribute to building delays. Researchers will identify which projects are located near transit systems and other transportation infrastructure. Then, they will examine how project-level attributes and transportation availability affect developers’ decisions. Researchers will also compare permitting timelines for otherwise comparable projects with different transit availability or job accessibility to assess the causes of delay.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $79,991

Project Partner(s): Southern California Association of Governments