• California Housing Partnership: New Reports Show Depth and Impact of Housing Shortfall in Five Southern California Counties

    Today the California Housing Partnership released the final installment of its 2017 Housing Needs Assessment series, describing the affordable housing crisis facing lower-income renters in five Southern California counties: Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and San Diego.

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  • SacBee: What’s the solution to California’s unaffordable housing crisis?

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development classifies a Sacramento family of four with annual earnings of $59,350 as low income; for a single person, it’s $41,550. HUD’s low-income classification sounds about right because, with this income, many can’t afford Sacramento County’s median home sales price of $312,000 or an average of $1,450 per month to rent a two-bedroom dwelling. Fortunately, we have taxpayer-financed and government-subsidized affordable housing programs. What are some of these programs’ recent accomplishments?

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  • Studio City Patch: County To Explore Renter Protections Amid Affordable Housing Crisis

    screen_shot_2017-05-16_at_35053_pm-1494975114-5873The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to explore policies aimed at expanding affordable housing options and protecting renters, calling it part and parcel of the fight against homelessness. Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended the study. “Countless residents in the unincorporated areas of my district have experienced skyrocketing rental rates in their neighborhoods,” she said. “We need more tools to secure housing stability for the most vulnerable county residents.” The work will begin with a survey of rental housing stock; relevant laws and regulations; and best practices designed to protect rental rates, tenant tenure, habitability and freedom from discrimination.

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  • ABC News: Southern California average annual income needed to afford home

    A new report explains how much money you need to make to be able to afford a home in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. The California Association of Realtors released its housing affordability report and it showed homes in California were less affordable in the first quarter of 2017 than the first quarter of 2016. But despite homes being less affordable, the report said higher household incomes and seasonal price declines helped to offset the costs and slightly increased the housing affordability index. Here’s how much average annual income is needed to buy a home in Southern California, according to the California Association of Realtors:
    – Orange County $154,120
    – Ventura County $132,020
    – Los Angeles County $99,830
    – Riverside County $75,000
    – San Bernardino County $52,790

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  • OC Register: Housing shortage: Does California have a crisis problem?

    For the 30 years I’ve been a journalist at the Orange County Register, it feels like we Californians have hopped from crisis to crisis to crisis. I’m beginning to think with have a crisis of crises. We apparently just got over our water crisis, aka “the drought.” That followed the budget crisis with the ongoing prison and pension crises, after the foreclosure crisis which preceded old housing crises and the state’s hand in the savings and loan crisis, not to mention the energy crisis. And I’m sorry if I failed to mention a crisis that touched you even more personally.

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  • LA Times: Here’s how construction worker pay is dominating California’s housing debate

    la-1472859661-snap-photoThe union representing construction workers, State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, also known as the Building Trades, is the most powerful group influencing the Legislature’s response to the housing crisis. It has worked to make sure union-level pay, known as “prevailing wage,” is a consideration in any major housing bills.

    Here’s how prevailing wage works, how labor’s been so influential and why prevailing wage is so important in the housing debate.

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  • Strong Towns: The Immutable Laws of Affordable Housing

    downloadAffordable housing has become something of a buzzword (or two words) in urban circles over the last few decades. In fact, a veritable movement has arisen in cities with high housing costs, which seeks to ensure that people of all income levels have access to decent housing. A semantic problem has even arisen wherein capital A “Affordable Housing” is different from just plain affordable housing.

    I don’t intend to question the motives of the good people working in the Affordable Housing world–they’re doing what they know. But I believe ideas and outcomes are fair game for criticism. To that end, I propose we recognize and understand these rules of affordable housing.

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  • CityLab: California’s Legal Assault On NIMBYs Begins

    Construction workers build a single-family home in San Diego.California Democrats are uniting against a common enemy who they believe is making residents miserable and imperiling the state’s future. The target: NIMBYs across the state who continually shoot down new housing projects, and the localities that bend to their will. There are more than 100 bills before the California Legislature that address the state’s housing crisis, and a large share of them would crack down on communities that don’t do their part by facilitating the construction of new homes. A California Department of Housing and Community Development report published earlier this year paints a dire picture: Home ownership rates are at their lowest numbers since the 1940s; homelessness is high. Existing homes cost far too much for low-income and even middle-income residents. But the report focuses most of its attention on the homes that don’t exist yet.

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  • San Francisco Business Times: How the East Bay and Peninsula lost $185 million in affordable housing funding over the last decade

    Annual federal and state affordable housing funding for the East Bay and Peninsula plunged by $185 million over the last decade, worsening the regional housing crisis, according to new reports. Alameda, Contra Costa and San Mateo counties collectively had $65.6 million of state and federal funding in fiscal year 2015-2016, a 74 percent drop from $250.6 million in funding in fiscal year 2008-2009.  Alameda County saw a bulk of the loss, with a $115 million reduction, or 74 percent. Contra Costa lost 66 percent in funding over the same period, a difference of $37 million. San Mateo County had 83 percent less funding, a nearly $33 million decline. The analysis was released by California Housing Partnership Corp., Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and East Bay Housing Organizations, using data from the government and the University of California, Berkeley.

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  • SF Gate: Affordable housing drying up across Bay Area, report finds

    This file photo taken on May 17, 2016 shows a house for sale in Arcadia, California. Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN, AFP/Getty ImagesSkyrocketing rents, shrinking incomes and severe cuts in state- and federal-government support for affordable housing have made it far harder for lower-income Bay Area residents to find a place to live, according to a report being released Friday. The report looks at rents and incomes in Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma and San Mateo counties, and concludes that each is more than 10,000 rental spots short of what it would take for everyone of limited means to find an affordable place to live.


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