By Carolyn Weber. Affordability is one of the major challenges facing home builders in California. Only 27 percent of state residents can afford an average-priced home. According to builder/developer Robert McCleod, former president of San Diego- based Newland Communities, it's the environmental red tape that's frustrating builders and hindering their ability to meet the housing demand. McCleod says his company is able to price 5,000-square-foot standard lots in Florida and in Houston, where the company develops and builds for $30,000. But in California where there are far more requirements and constraints and where the approval process takes far longer, that same 5,000-square-foot lot sells for $203,000.