Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Zachary Courser

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© 2019 Jake R Kessler


Throughout the 20th century, millions of people immigrated to California in search of sunny weather, economic opportunity, and affordable housing. However, since the 1970s, Californians’ economic mobility has dissipated under a persistent affordable housing shortage. This thesis examines the affordable housing crisis and the political and economic incentives underpinning it. In surveying the historical evolution of state and local land use planning since the early 20th century, this thesis analyzes the effects of policy changes on housing supply in the Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles. It argues that California’s land use planning framework limits housing supply by prioritizing homeowner interests, and concludes with policy recommendations to align this framework with regional and state housing goals.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.