On my dental hygienist’s commute to work, she passes thousands and thousands of new homes. She told me yesterday, that she and her boyfriend, a tugboat captain, rent a room in a home and that they save and save, dreaming that someday they would own a home. But, as the price of homes are ever further from their reach, she does not believe she will achieve home ownership, and for that reason, she and her boyfriend will not have children when they marry. She said her community of friends feel the say way. She is anxious over her future all of the time. This is an intolerable situation that we must remedy together.
Is this your experience or the experience of your children, too?
Do you ever ask why working people are excluded from home ownership opportunity here?
Did you know that the housing “product” built in Placer County is unaffordable to 87% of the people who work here – that the affordability gap is over $200,000?
The time is now to demand that our elected officials match housing types with the income levels of our working community. Matching housing price with income is called Smart Growth. In addition to the beneficial social factor of matching incomes with housing products – Smart Growth also reduces environmental impacts and CO2 generation.
What you can do:
Please become involved in Placer County’s Housing Element Update. This “Update” will either give us more of the same high-priced single-family sprawl or finally bring us safe, decent and affordable homes for all citizens. Write to Paul.McDougall@hcd.ca.gov and tell him how the affordable housing crisis affects you. Ask him for help in righting a wrong and opening up housing market to all of us. Tell him Placer County’s proposed Housing Element Update fails it its promise to provide safe, decent and affordable housing to all citizens. Letters must be received before 11/20/21; so do not delay! Your story has power. Write Paul.McDougall@hcd.ca.gov.
Together, we’re a stronger voice.
Leslie Warren, Chair
Here’s a great letter on the affordable housing crisis from our colleague, architect Mike Lehmberg:
February 2, 2021
Mr. Paul McDougall
State of California
Department of Housing and Community Development
2020 West El Camino Ave
Sacramento, CA 95833
RE: Placer County’s Regional Housing Element
It is my understanding that the CA State Office of Housing and Community Development is currently reviewing Placer County’s update of their Housing Element as required by State Law. Under State law, Placer County is required to adopt government policy toward ensuring that decent, safe, and affordable shelter is provided for all citizens.
I am writing to express my opinion that Placer County’s submittal should not be accepted or approved by HCD. The County has failed to meet their own stated targets to encourage the supply of housing stock for the low- and moderate-income affordability range for several years. The update to the County’s proposed Housing Element Update will not deliver critically needed affordable housing and will only exacerbate our air quality crisis due to perpetuation of suburban sprawl. The proposed Housing Element Update includes no substantive action to be taken to remedy these problems.
Now’s the time for change. It is time for Placer County to chart a path towards fulfilling the spirit of this law. The County’s Housing Element is supposed to be the “road map” to ensure that the County provides all citizens the opportunity to live in decent safe and affordable homes; a home where a family or individuals spend 30% or less of total income for rent, mortgage, and direct housing expenses. Over the past year the average Placer County home sold for $570,000. That is $287,626 more than the roughly 80% of tax paying County residents can afford to pay if they spend 30% of their income on housing. A quick review of the County’s RHNA report card shows that very few homes have been built that would qualify as affordable per this or any recognized metric.
Over the past two years, Placer County invited citizens to meetings, to provide written comments and to participate in public hearings on the Update of the Housing Element. Many citizens dutifully did this, but not one citizen suggestion was incorporated in the Draft Housing Element update. The participation in the process was to no avail.
I respectfully request State of CA Office of Housing and Community Development intervene and leverage its jurisdictional authority to require the Placer County Housing Element Update to
remedy the housing affordability crisis. The County is not taking the problem seriously and has no interest in complying with State mandates. Just to account for failures in the past, the County would now need to incentivize developers to build 3,023 affordable homes.
Thank You for considering this request and I hope we may see positive changes to Placer County’s housing Element update as a result.
Auburn, CA 95603
Megan Kirkeby – firstname.lastname@example.org
Saldana Irvin – Irvin.Saldana@hcd.ca.gov
Hillary Prasad – Hillary.Prasad@hcd.ca.gov