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Advocacy group Housing California announces new affordable housing plan

The goal is to have housing for all in California

Affordable housing advocacy group Housing California and nonprofit California Housing Partnership have announced California’s Roadmap HOME 2030, an initiative to set the course to create “a California with homes for all.”

Lack of affordable housing and homelessness is a nationwide issue but is especially prevalent in California.

According to the organizations, the Roadmap will be released in the fall. Although the plans will be released later this year, Executive Director of Housing California Lisa Hershey told HousingWire that this project began in 2016, and they are armed with a heavily detailed action plan.

“We recognized what we needed to do to build momentum and that’s what we began in the fall of last year,” Hershey said. “We raised the funds to get the support for what we needed, and we started activating both the policy advisory and the research advisory committee at the beginning of this year.”

Late last year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted statewide rent control, in an attempt to save renters money in the Golden State.

Newsom has also called the homelessness issue in his state a “disgrace,” acknowledging the fact that residents have been fed up with the issue.

Recently, Los Angeles was listed as the least affordable city to live in the U.S., and the median price of homes continues to climb. In addition, a handful of cities in California have median home prices of around $1 million.

These factors and more led to Housing California and California Housing Partnership forming a plan.

By using their evidence base, the teams will come up with a framework and a solution. Hershey said the goal of the framework is to find a way to shift how money is invested in California.

To get the Roadmap completed quickly and efficiently, the two coalitions are working with more than three dozen partners and experts from many sectors touched by housing affordability and homelessness.

Hershey said that by this summer the coalitions will have an initial draft to hand over to the governor’s office, with the framework and solution. 

Of note, the California Housing Partnership conducts an annual study, releasing data on rent burden across the state. Hershey said that will be built into the plan.

“We’re going to build that in as part of the annual kind of checkup to see how our communities are doing in terms of building more affordable housing units and other indicators that demonstrate that we’re emerging out of our current crisis and moving towards more stability,” Hershey said.

While the groups hope this project serves the community, Hersey said that affordable housing in California requires federal help also, as the crisis is a deeper issue.

“The time is now. Not to react to just the moment we are in with crisis or Band-Aid solution, but to seriously use the evidence base to drive real change in California,” Hershey said.

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