Bailey Housing/Homelessness Q2
All layers of government must continue to streamline processes to reduce the costs and time to construction approvals. California’s building code is waist-high, no wonder it takes upwards of 3 years to bring a housing project to fruition. Every city should be required to build their fair share of housing across price-points and city councils need to make tough decisions to ensure we can expand housing – it can be done while protecting local neighborhoods and local control.
Another missing piece of the conversation is how cities can meet affordable housing needs, after the collapse of redevelopment. While the state and local governments have made some progress rebuilding funding streams, the progress is not enough to make up for years of backlog and plan for projected needs.
The federal government must reevaluate affordable housing subsidies and social security levels to ensure they are appropriate for actual housing costs. The state government must streamline the building codes and continue to release incentive programs and policy that pushes diverse and obtainable housing.
Private businesses and non-profit partners, need to work side-by-side with governments to deliver development projects that are responsible to local communities, minimize the impact on the environment, and bring innovative projects to fruition.
The City of Riverside recently brought home more than $32 million to fund the construction of affordable housing. These units are an important piece of our strategy to house veterans, hardworking families, those on fixed incomes, and neighbors without homes. We must continue to push forward to expand diverse housing options, not only for our most vulnerable, but also to avoid a situation where we all become “Skype grandparents”. If we do not address this carefully, our children will be left with no option but to move out of state, contributing to disconnected families and urban sprawl.