Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Can California's new affordable housing bills really help?

by KPCC staff | Take Two®

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Oakcrest Terrace, a new affordable housing development in Yorba Linda. Jill Replogle

California affordable housing bills SB 2, SB 3 and SB 35 are all crafted to address a growing problem in the state -- one that's making it increasingly difficult for residents to keep a roof over their heads. To find out whether any of the new bills are likely to make a difference, Take Two's A Martinez spoke with Mike Alvidrez, CEO of the Skid Row Housing Trust, which provides permanent housing for the formerly homeless.

I think what we're seeing is how the lack of housing that's affordable is not only affecting homeless people in very obvious ways. It's affecting low income people. But I think that shortage of the amount of housing and the affordability of housing is now creeping upwards into the middle class, and I think we're seeing the impact on families whose kids go to high school, graduate, go to college, graduate... Middle income wage earners are having a hard time, sometimes buying a place 50 miles from where they work. This is a problem affecting a larger segment of the population not only locally but in the state...

All throughout California we've got to figure out how to allow people who can build that housing to do so. There's some evidence some cities have wanted not to allow that, but we're at a crisis point. Employers are finding it hard to attract talent when the job openings, there's no affordable housing. We can't expand the job base. Parents are spending too much time with long commutes, not being able to help with their children's homework. The social costs abound.

 

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