My vision is to continue the efforts that already are moving forward on housing creation. The City of Ft. Bragg has already identified vacant lots that can be utilized for housing units. The South Street Danco Project for mixed housing is moving forward.
I hope to bring the council around to finding a way to work with the community in evaluating the types of housing that are currently available or in short supply.
It is about planning!
We do know we need housing for workers, seniors and special needs housing. What I would like to see is a process that identifies and quantifies types of housing that already exist.
For example, how many single renters are renting a two bedroom house? Could we build more housing for single people as in 1 bedroom or studio apartments as part of a condo or small apartment complex? Then the 2 bedroom and three bedroom apartments or houses can be available for families.
What types of housing opportunities do we want as part of the mix? There is HUD Housing, Market Rate Rentals, BMR ( Below Market Rate) rentals, condos or homes for families to purchase, and etc. This information can better inform any strategies and programs. We need to define what is “affordable housing” in relation to local wages. Addressing income inequality is a central part of the affordable housing discussion.
Counting vacant lots and looking at zoning is only one part of the process.
We are way behind in building affordable housing and lagging in job creation. Our low wages and seasonal jobs do not benefit our residents. We cannot solve this without engaging all sectors of our community to work on creative & sustainable solutions to achieve affordable housing and end homelessness.