California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom hosts discussion at Grossmont College

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom hosted a roundtable discussion at Grossmont College in El Cajon Wednesday, discussing the state’s ongoing housing crisis and other affordability issues Californians continue to face.

On housing, Newsom said California's housing crisis revolves around affordability. He said the state is averaging 100,000 units statewide per year, but to reach an affordability equilibrium 400,000 a year is needed.

"We're 49th out of 50 in per capita housing units. Only Utah is producing less housing per capita. We can't double housing production and address the issue of affordability. We have an affordability crisis," Newsom said. "The next governor needs to be intense about this. Passionate about this.

RELATED: Top candidates for California governor lay out plans to address affordable housing issue

"We have no statewide housing goals in California. None. And that must change in January of next year."

Newsom also touched on the controversial state gas tax.

However, Newsom said while groups are quick to push back, they offer no alternative.

"There's no identifiable alternative dollars. So they're just going to erase $5-plus billion a year that's being invested as we speak in improving our infrastructure and addressing the deferred maintenance in the state," Newsom said. "It's easy politics to say no. But then they offer zero, nothing, in terms of an alternative."

RELATED: San Diego's housing shortfall could grow if unchecked, report says

An effort led by former San Diego Councilmember Carl DeMaio recently gathered enough signatures to place a repeal of the tax on the 2018 ballot.

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