HOME IS...ADVOCATING FOR THOSE IN NEED
Through its strategic planning process, and consistent with the Federation’s mission, the Board of Directors lays out SDHF’s advocacy agenda. It is formed around four strategic advocacy areas. These reflect advocacy needed on behalf of members and their organizations as well as efforts important to creating more homes and equitable housing opportunities for low-income households throughout the region.
Advocacy efforts are targeted toward four major areas:
- Communicating the need for more affordable homes.
- Ensuring land availability and regulations that support the development of affordable homes.
- Demonstrating cost effectiveness of building and operating affordable homes.
- Ensuring funding for affordable housing.
+ Climate Action
SDHF releases local report – Location Matters: Affordable Housing and VMT Reduction in San Diego County
In 2015, CNT, with support of CHPC, completed a statistical analysis of household travel in California to estimate the relationship between income, location efficiency, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) throughout the state. Location efficient places have access to jobs and services and allow residents and visitors to get around by walking, biking, or on transit, reducing car travel. This report applies the findings from a statewide study available here. This report is meant to inform local planning and development efforts aimed at reducing VMT and resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The report also provides guidance on use of the state’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program to support development of location-efficient affordable homes and GHG-reducing transportation investments in San Diego County.
On July 1, 2016, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation enacting the No Place Like Home program to dedicate $2 billion in bond proceeds to invest in the development of permanent supportive housing for persons who are in need of mental health services and are experiencing homelessness, chronic homelessness, or who are at risk of chronic homelessness. The bonds are repaid by funding from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).
Key features of the program include:
- Counties will be eligible applicants (either solely or with a housing development sponsor).
- Funding for permanent supportive housing must utilize low barrier tenant selection practices that prioritize vulnerable populations and offer flexible, voluntary, and individualized supportive services.
- Counties must commit to provide mental health services and help coordinate access to other community-based supportive services.
As a part of our policy and advocacy work, SDHF is taking a local leadership role in providing feedback to the lead state agency on the program and monitoring its design and implementation.
On May 24, 2017, SDHF convened a task group to discuss comments and feedback on the proposed program framework. The session was intended to inform SDHF members on the NPLH program framework, engage participant in discussion on how to improve the program, and provide the content of the comments to be submitted to HCD on SDHF’s behalf. The presentation provided by Simonne Ruff of CSH at the task group meeting can be found here. Read SDHF’s submitted comments here.
+ Preservation and At-Risk Affordable Housing
On Wednesday, April 18th, the San Diego City Council Smart Growth & Land Use Committee heard an item presented by SDHF’s Executive Director, Stephen Russell, and Kwofi Reed of LISC San Diego on strategies for preserving at-risk and expiring affordable housing in San Diego. There is currently a shortfall of over 142,000 affordable homes for low-income renters throughout San Diego County and in the City of San Diego nearly 1,300 affordable homes are considered at-risk of converting to market rate housing. The presentation to the Smart Growth & Land Use committee reviewed data on at-risk housing in San Diego as well as best practices in affordable housing preservation. To learn more, please review the Housing Federation’s presentation here.
On July 6, 2017, California Housing Partnership and San Diego Housing Federation held a workshop “Strategies for Expiring and At Risk Affordable Housing in San Diego County."
San Diego County needs 142,052 more affordable rental homes to meet the needs of its lowest-income renters. Compounding upon this deficit, over 1,900 rent assisted homes have been lost in the County since 1995. Today, renters need to earn more than 3 times the local minimum wage to afford the median asking rent of $1,940 in San Diego County. San Diego County’s lowest-income renters now spend 69% of income on rent, leaving little left for food, transportation, health expenses, and other needs. While these renters struggle to make ends meet, the County is at-risk of losing more than 1,800 affordable homes in the next five years.
At this special event, Danielle Mazzella, Housing Data Analyst with the California Housing Partnership, presented detailed information on at-risk affordable housing throughout San Diego County. Following the presentation, Anne Wilson, Senior Vice President with Community HousingWorks, led a discussion on the data findings. Workshop attendees shared ideas for local solutions, including advocating for cities to have a housing coordinator dedicated to identifying and monitoring at-risk affordable housing, as well as state legislation aimed at addressing the issue. Workshop presentation can be found here. Local preservation strategies discussed can be found here.