The Connection Between California Wildfires and the Housing Crisis

Eleven million people, around a quarter of California’s population, live in high-risk wildfire zones. Wildfires make the housing market even smaller and more expensive because of California’s lack of affordable housing. According to the research firm Headwaters Economics, more than 3,600 structures, including homes, burned in California wildfires during 2021, and between 2005 and 2020 nearly 60,000 structures were lost to fires in the state. Most people would assume that wildfires would decrease home value, but because of their location and scarce supply of homes, housing prices keep going up, which leads to more people at risk of experiencing homelessness.