Summit to address Valley's “housing crisis”
August 8, 2017
• Sponsoring group says government needs to help
• “The market will never be able to fully address this need”
The median price for a home in California in June was $555,150 and in the nine counties of the Central Valley it was $272,222, according to data from the California Association of Realtors.
There is “eroding affordability that either prevents or delays first-time buyers from getting on the housing ladder,” according to the Realtors’ Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.
That affordability problem is seen throughout the Valley where wages are anything but what is common in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and most of Southern California where half-million dollar tract homes are common.
“Housing is too expensive for the people who live in San Joaquin Valley communities — and the market will never be able to fully address this need,” says Alicia Sebastian, director of Housing and Community Development Programs for the California Coalition for Rural Housing.
“Instead, we need a comprehensive approach that includes regulatory reform, investment in housing subsidies for our most vulnerable community members, and opportunities for homeownership,” she says.
That and perhaps other ideas are expected to be discussed at the sixth annual San Joaquin Valley Affordable Housing Summit, set for Thursday, September 7 at the Valdez Hall in Fresno.
The day-long summit is hosted by the San Joaquin Valley Housing Collaborative, with support from the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State and the California Coalition for Rural Housing.
It’s expected to bring together stakeholders from across the Valley and throughout the state. Expected participants include elected officials, city and county agencies, community-based organizations, financial institutions, developers, and advocates. Similar summits have been held in Fresno, Stockton, and Bakersfield and more than 200 attendees are expected this year.
Organizers say the Fresno meeting will focus on the increasing importance of partnerships as San Joaquin Valley communities come together to address the cost and availability of housing. Workshops will feature case studies of partnerships that demonstrate successful, replicable strategies. Workshop offerings include financing, homeownership, regional perspectives on homelessness, sustainable development, employment and poverty, community development, resident services, and community engagement.