Californians are living in overcrowded, uninhabitable conditions and are paying more than half their income in rent. Meanwhile cities primarily produce luxury market-rate housing (if they produce any at all), lack basic anti-displacement policies, and code enforcement departments don't prioritize the needs of tenants.
We need to change our priorities to protect people first, not profits. Instead of housing policy for the few, we propose these guiding principles to inform state and local legislative solutions:
1. Does the proposed solution focus the state's limited resources on meeting the most-pressing housing needs, i.e. people who don't have a home or low and moderate income families paying an astronomical portion of their income for housing?
2. Does the proposed solution support creation of jobs paying family-supporting wages?
3. Does the proposed solution require all communities to take responsibility for making their housing accessible to people at various income levels, especially local workers?
4. Does the proposed solution protect the state's natural beauty and support its climate change goals?
5. Does the proposed solution allow existing residents to remain in their community?
To: California State Legislature From: Aimee Inglis California is facing a severe shortage of housing for low-income families – a shortfall of 1.54 million rental homes for extremely low-income (ELI) and very low-income (VLI) renter households, (California Housing Partnership Corporation, April 2016). Factoring in the needs of moderate-income households who are increasingly being left out of the real estate market dramatically increases this number. In “hot market” urban communities housing prices have soared and gentrification has brought unprecedented displacement. The growth in market rate and luxury housing development in historically working-class neighborhoods, landlords evicting to rent or sell to people with higher incomes, speculation in the real estate market and the foreclosure crisis have combined to put long-time residents at tremendous risk of homelessness. We need policies at the state and local level that combat displacement and ensure that residents in our California communities are safe and stable in their housing. I endorse this guiding policy and principle framework in developing REAL solutions to the housing crisis, downloadable here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1miLYIpFJHfAB3n-DpaPBYWt-4UeYfv2YA3Tc...