Brainstorming Session Searches For Solutions To High Housing Costs
A new report finds lack of adequate housing and rising housing costs are resulting in growing inequality and limited opportunity for younger Californians. In an effort to counter the trend, the state's Department of Housing and Community Development will hold a public workshop Monday in San Diego to brainstorm on solutions.
The draft report finds homeownership levels in California are at their lowest since the 1940s. Fewer than 54 percent of Californians own their homes, down from 57 percent in 2000.
The number of new homes built in California in the last 10 years is less than half of what is reportedly needed to meet the demands of a growing population.
More than one-third of renters in California now pay more than half their income in rent. And the high cost of housing is having a ripple effect on the rest of the economy, said researcher Megan Kirkeby, who co-authored the report.
“High housing costs mean that households have to be making significant sacrifices in other areas of their budget,” she said. “That means they have less money for health care and medicine, transportations, food, retirement or simply emergencies.“
Kirkeby said businesses are becoming more engaged in the problem, since housing costs are affecting hiring. She said the Monday afternoon public workshop will lay out findings and brainstorm about solutions.
“Everything from land use reform, to investing in permanent supportive housing and affordable home development,” she said. “We’re hoping that our public engagement over the next few months results in more solutions and ideas that help push us in the right direction.”
The report also finds that while California has 12 percent of the nation’s population, it is home to 22 percent of the nation’s homeless.
The report is currently open for public comment. It will be the first Statewide Housing Assessment Report the department has issued since 2000. It will recommend policy options for future action.
The workshop is scheduled to run from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, 404 Euclid Ave.