Salinas Housing/Homelessness Q2
So much of the housing conversation tends to focus just on affordable housing, or housing for those under a certain average median income (AMI). But after decades on inaction, to create true affordability, we need to increase supply across the board. I’ve spoken to companies that struggle to find local qualified workers and employees who face brutal commutes to reach their jobs. Educators who are unable to live in the communities they teach and universities who train our brightest minds, only to see them leave the region for somewhere they can afford to live.
California has the nation’s second lowest rate of homeownership and more than 50 percent of renters are considered rent-burdened. Lack of supply drives high housing costs. With such a high percentage of income going to rents or mortgages, that leaves less investment in local businesses and the economy.
Government and the private sector must collaborate to address the barriers to the creation of homes, whether they be regulatory, cost inefficiencies or neighborhood opposition and fear. Communities up and down the state are investing in public transportation systems, making transit-rich, walkable neighborhoods the ideal place to increase housing density.