INDIO, CA–Local elected officials, residents, and housing advocates today highlighted the impacts of California’s affordable housing crisis in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys in a hearing hosted by Assemblymember David Chiu (D – San Francisco), Chair of the California Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development, and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D – Coachella). Today’s hearing was the first in a series of forums that the Assembly Housing committee is hosting around the state on housing affordability issues.
“Every Californian from Indio to San Francisco deserves an affordable place to call home. The Coachella and Imperial Valleys and the San Francisco Bay Area differ on the surface, but the housing crisis hits us in remarkably similar ways – we all face a lack of affordable housing stock, overcrowding, and code enforcement issues, among other challenges,” said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). “It is crucial for us to hear local details as we dig into the root causes and potential solutions to our statewide housing crisis.”
Across the state, families are burdened with high housing costs, long commutes, and are priced out of homeownership. California is the sixth largest economy in the world, yet it is facing the most serious housing crisis in its history, including a large number of people experiencing homelessness. The state’s poverty rate is highest in the nation when housing costs are factored in.
“I want to thank Assemblymember David Chiu for launching his series of affordable housing hearings in my district. Our community and the state both suffer a serious housing shortage,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D – Coachella). “Living in decent, affordable and reasonably located housing is one of the most important determinants of well-being for every Californian. My hope is that this hearing will allow our local housing stakeholders to weigh in on the greater policy discussions to make housing more affordable throughout the state.”
“Our goal is to develop affordable housing communities that will not only improve the daily lives of the families and seniors who live there, but will positively impact their health, economic and social futures by providing a safe living environment with supportive services,” said Danavon L. Horn, President & CEO of Palm Communities, an affordable housing developer.
“We are grateful for the attention of our state lawmakers to the critical housing needs of Coachella and Imperial Valley residents,” said Julie Bornstein, Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition.
In recent years California has dramatically reduced its investment in affordable housing. The dissolution of redevelopment agencies led to the loss of more than $1 billion annually, and fund from the 2006 voter-approved housing bond are exhausted.
Assemblymember Chiu and his Assembly colleagues have introduced several bills to fund production of housing for low-income families, incentivize local governments to complete upfront planning and environmental review and approve housing permits to increase housing supply, fund the enforcement of existing state housing law by the Attorney General, and provide rental assistance to homeless Medi-Cal recipients.
For more information on these Assembly bills, please visit: https://a17.asmdc.org/article/bringcahome-2017
The next Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee informational hearing will be in Sacramento on February 22.
Assemblymember David Chiu (D – San Francisco) is the Chair of the Housing & Community Development Committee of the California State Assembly. He represents the 17th Assembly District, which encompasses eastern San Francisco.
Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) serves as the chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife. He represents the 56th district, which comprises the cities and communities of Blythe, Brawley, Bermuda Dunes, Calexico, Calipatria, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Indio, Mecca, Oasis, North Shore, Salton Sea, Thermal, Thousand Palms, and Westmorland.