Habitat Hosts Roundtable Conversation on Affordable Housing
Increasing the development of affordable housing really matters to us and that is why we invited 30+ local leaders to a roundtable discussion requested by California Assemblyman Tim Grayson in Fresno. The discussion was the first of four requested statewide by the Assemblyman to receive suggestions on the best ways to reform housing construction fees to include in legislation he’s crafting for comprehensive fee reform with the objective of making housing more affordable in California.
Habitat was asked to help not only because of our increased involvement in housing affordability advocacy as members of Habitat California’s Legislative Committee, but also because we’re a stakeholder as an affordable housing developer in our area.
The conversation was robust as representatives of cities and counties, flood control districts, economic development organizations and market-rate housing developers offered insight on how to proceed.
Our CEO, Matthew Grundy moderated the discussion with the Assemblyman as leaders discussed alternative funding sources available to local jurisdictions to offset fee reductions and still maintain vital public services such as flood and fire protections, etc. and discussed ideas to streamline systems to make owning or renting a home more affordable for our low-income residents.
Here is what we know and why we need to address this:
We always hear about how affordable housing is in our area, but the statistics say otherwise. In contrast, statewide, only half of all renters are rent-burdened.
- In Fresno County 60% of those who rent their own home are rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing, while another 20% spend at least half of their income on rent.
The number of people that own their own homes also fares worse locally:
To increase awareness of this serious issue and to also invite residents to submit their ideas to the Assemblyman, read our CEO's column published in The Fresno Bee November 16th right here.
- In Fresno only 45% of residents own their home compared to the statewide average of more than 55%.