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California's housing shortage has taken the spotlight as one of the most critical in the country. Yet, the issue doesn't stop there. As this article from CALmatters discusses, the hortgage will have many lasting economic implications.

The most obvious and most important victims of California’s chronic and still-growing housing shortage are the countless thousands of families that struggle to put affordable roofs over their heads.

The shortage has driven prices skyward in a classic example of a supply-demand mismatch and housing costs are the largest single factor in California’s shameful status of having the nation’s highest level of poverty.

There is, however, another economic dimension to the housing crisis. It’s hurting the state’s overall economy as employers face increasing shortages of skilled workers, especially in coastal areas where the housing squeeze is the tightest and local resistance to housing construction is the most implacable.

Ventura County, outwardly a collection of prosperous suburbs surrounded by bucolic agricultural fields and orchards just north of Los Angeles, is a poster child for the syndrome.

This month, economists at California Lutheran University delivered some very negative news about Ventura County’s economy.

“The dominant economic story in Ventura County is a continued decline in total economic activity,” Matthew Fienup, who heads Cal Lutheran’s economic forecasting operation, told a gathering of local officials and business leaders. “We hesitate to the use the word recession, but we don’t know what else to call two consecutive years of economic contraction.”

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