Affordable Housing & Equitable Development Work Group
The Affordable Housing & Equitable Development Work Group is concerned with both preservation of existing affordable housing and ensuring that new development includes an adequate number of affordable units.
Preserving existing affordable housing is extremely challenging, given the large numbers of foreclosures in predominantly low income neighborhoods and the fact that many Title 8 commitments are due to expire in the next few years. There is also the problem of gentrification and involuntary displacement which is likely to occur when light rail is built, causing property values to increase, rents and taxes to go up, and low income populations to be priced out of the market, including seniors and others living on a fixed income.
Ensuring that new development includes enough affordable housing to meet future needs is also a complex issue. If new housing is predominantly market rate, resulting in a reduction in the supply of affordable housing, the very people who most need the new light rail line may be forced to move away. Meanwhile, cities are reluctant to require a certain percentage of affordable housing, given the difficulties of financing mixed income projects. (In any case, such requirements can only be applied to projects that include some city funding.)
The work group is currently collecting additional data on what constitutes affordable housing in each neighborhood; how much affordable housing currently exists, and where; how much existing affordable housing will disappear when current Title 8 commitments expire or foreclosed houses are torn down; how great the need for affordable housing will be in 10 or 20 years; where new affordable housing should be located; whether current government policies, plans and goals adequately address these needs; and if not, what changes are needed to ensure that affordable housing needs are addressed in the future.
Role of the CACC in Affordable Housing Discussion
The work group is also assessing the role the CACC should play, reviewing the many different tables that are already working on affordable housing issues to avoid duplication and determine whether the CACC should collaborate with other groups, and if so, what form that collaboration should take. Another priority for the work group is to identify and engage key elected officials and city and county staff.
The work group welcomes participation by any community members with an interest in affordable housing. We invite you to fill out the Signup form located in the right hand column to become more involved by joining the Affordable Housing & Equitable Development work group.