Nearly All Recent Housing Developments Have Been Low-Density, Luxury Homes That Do Not Reflect The Area’s Demographics Nor Meet The Housing Needs Of Local Employees.The alarming and growing shortfall of new employee housing during that time has convinced us that we need to be advocates for the production of employee housing.
The goal of the Coastal Housing Coalition is to encourage an increase in the supply of housing that our local workforce can afford through:
- Public outreach, providing balanced information on housing issues.
- Communicating the escalating housing crisis to elected officials and decision-makers so employee housing is made a priority.
- Shaping housing policy so that more employee housing opportunities are created.
- Endorsing well-designed, appropriately-located residential projects.
Our sister organization, the Coastal Housing Partnership, also a non-profit corporation, was formed in 1987 by a group of concerned employers who realized that a shortage of housing was hurting their ability to attract and retain qualified and talented employees. Coastal Housing was created so that employers within Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties could address this housing problem through a series of innovative purchase assistance programs for the employees of its member companies. Since its inception, Coastal Housing Partnership has helped thousands of local employees become homeowners.
The Housing crisis has only worsened since the formation of the Partnership and their home purchase assistance programs are not able to keep pace with the effects of the region’s inadequate housing supply.
The housing crisis wake-up calls include: clogged rush-hour freeways, increased transportation-cost impacts on workers’ budgets, decreased time to spend with families, diminished community involvement, talented employees leaving the area since they are unable to purchase homes, increased cases of top-ranked recruits turning down offers to move to our region, and ever-growing numbers of businesses leaving or expanding outside the area due to high housing costs.
Some local governments are beginning to understand why having an inadequate housing stock for local workers creates economic, social and environmental problems. However, recent innovative solutions are running into resistance from a few special-interest neighborhood groups. We believe that saying “we can’t build ourselves out of the housing crisis,” is simply a red herring for doing nothing. The South Coast housing deficit – both rental and home ownership – amounts to thousands of units and continues to climb.
The economic future of our entire region hinges on homes and apartments being built over the next several years. A “brain drain” of employee talent related to the lack of housing has become a reality, and this trend must be reversed as soon as possible.
In the past, the debate on housing has been polarized between “no-growthers” and “pro-growthers,” resulting in little housing being built, while the population has continued to grow. This does not make for healthy communities as it leads to over-crowding of existing housing and forces workers to find places to live far from their jobs.
We do not believe in “growth at any cost” policies – we believe that future development must use available land more efficiently before seeking to expand the boundaries of existing cities and towns. We also believe in housing built close to transportation opportunities so that workers don’t have to use private vehicles to get to their jobs. Coastal Housing Coalition does not want to see our region filled with sprawl growth, any more than it wants to see freeways, streets and roads continue to be clogged with rush hour traffic. Since the “jobs-housing” balance for the South Coast is so badly skewed in favor of jobs, we also supports rezoning to residential and mixed-use development, for projects that provide workforce housing.
The Coalition was formed to seek and achieve solutions to our region’s housing crisis. Our voice is heard increasingly in every arena where housing decisions are influenced and made. We offer examples of model housing policies for zoning and development which we believe should be adopted by local planning jurisdictions, and we will advocate for their adoption. Further, since policies don’t build houses and apartments, we also seek to eliminate all inappropriate barriers to the permitting process.