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HOUSING UPDATES

The State of California is experiencing a housing crisis that impacts virtually every component of our local communities from low-income families who struggle to pay rent to major businesses seeking to recruit and retain qualified members of the workforce. The crisis is well documented, and has been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, evidence for which is outlined in our COVID-19 Housing Reponse position paper. Our focus continues to be unlocking more housing production across all income levels in all areas of our region including especially downtowns and major commercial corridors that simultaneously achieve climate change resiliency goals and leverage existing infrastructure such as our public transportation system. Increasing the production of farmworker housing is crucial in our work as this is the largest underserved target population experiencing extreme overcrowding. Our team convenes the Salinas and Pajaro Valley Farmworker Housing Study Oversight Committee responsible for implementing the Action Plan aimed at creating 5,300 new affordable farmworker homes in the next 5 years. We coordinated the updating of that plan so that it remains relevant with the current context, including the impacts of the pandemic. 

The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is one of the tools available to the State of California to address our state-wide housing crisis. Locally, our team is helping to lead the process for all local governments in our region to update their Housing Elements to meet the state mandated minimum of 33,274 new homes within Monterey & Santa Cruz County jurisdictions, and 5,005 new homes within San Benito County jurisdictions. As of January 2022, both the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) and the San Benito Council of Governments (SBCOG) are in the midst of selecting respective final draft methodologies that will be sent to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for their review and approval.

MBEP will be involved throughout the duration of the RHNA / Housing Element process and urges advocacy groups and community groups to become involved in this undertaking that directly shapes the future of our region. To learn more about the Housing Element process and all it entails, please visit our Housing Element page. For questions and information on how to get involved, please contact Elizabeth Madrigal at emadrigal@mbep.biz

The Monterey Bay Housing Trust (MBHT) is a revolving loan fund sponsored by the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) and Housing Trust Silicon Valley. The goal of this fund is to increase the supply of affordable housing for low-income households. To date, nine loans have been funded, totaling over $23 Million in local investment creating or preserving 668 homes for low and very low income households.  Project sponsors include Community Housing Improvement Systems Planning Association (CHISPA) for the Castroville Oaks Affordable Housing Community, For the Future Homes for the Water Street apartments, New Way Homes for 180/2020 Permanent Supportive Housing in Santa Cruz, BRIDGE Housing for Paloma Del Mar in Watsonville, Eden Housing for 1482 Freedom Blvd in Watsonville, Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay in Live Oak, For the Future Housing in Santa Cruz, CHISPA for Mills Ranch in King City, and Novin Development for 831 Water Street in Santa Cruz.