There is an affordable housing crisis in the state of California. It is long past due that our representatives in Sacramento fought to solve our basic human right of shelter we can all afford despite our economic class. Nearly two-thirds of Californians live in areas where the monthly rent for a modest two-bedroom apartment is $1,500 or more. Yet affordable rent to a full-time worker at the state minimum wage is only $546 per month.
In California, more than half of all renters and more than a third of homeowners pay > 30% of their income toward housing. Worse, nearly 30% of renters and more than 15% of mortgage holders spend more than half of their income on housing. In the country of wealth and plenty, this is unacceptable. Anyone who works full-time should be able to afford decent housing without living paycheck to paycheck.
For Californians across the state and in our district, we need to focus on:
Diversifying housing options so that residents of all income levels can afford safe, decent housing. That means encouraging construction of not only luxury high-rise condominiums, but also rent-controlled apartments, mid-range multiple dwelling properties, and affordable homes for first-time buyers.
Balancing the interests of single-family homeowners and the logistical necessity for dense housing near transit lines. A mixed policy of maintaining the integrity of these areas while allowing for selective, dense growth is a good transition forward.
- Streamlining the red-tape for high-priority housing projects. In order to respond quickly and effectively to shifting housing demands, we need to allow for a streamlined option to the permitting and review process. While adequate oversight and regulation keeps is necessary in cohesive city planning, we also need to reduce the paperwork burden so that costs don’t soar higher.