Dr. King’s recent work (2017) with Jon Christensen at UCLA demonstrates that access to California’s beaches and other coastal ecosystems is not always feasible for many Californians, and that as housing affordability in coastal areas has declines and many Californians have moved inland, this access is becoming more and more difficult, especially for low and moderate income households and communities of color. For many of these families a day-trip to the beach is no longer possible, but studies sponsored by the California Coastal Commission and Coastal Conservancy indicate that the availability of affordable overnight accommodations is decreasing as the same forces that have driven up coastal housing drives has also driven up the cost of overnight accommodations at hotels/motels near the coast.
His most recent project expands the issue of Access to look at alternative options for Lower Cost Coastal Accommodations, and how short-term rentals offer once such option. The report examines the causes of the affordability crisis, but also how short term rentals can help promote access through increased affordability. Additionally, the report outlines how improving access can help local communities adapt to climate change and sea level rise. A case study of three distinct regions of California's coast demonstrates the importance of local ordinances in preserving and promoting affordability.
Coastal access in California is under threat
In a 2017 survey, 62% of California voters found access to the coast a problem, emphasizing the high costs of travel and accommodationI
Dr. King's recent work adds to research on the barriers many California families feel prevent them from accessing their coastline, a right protected by the 1976 California Coastal Act.