fbpx

Housing

Supporting an increase in the housing supply across the Monterey Bay region

In 2016, MBEP launched our housing initiative to support an increase in the supply of all housing at all income levels in the Monterey Bay region. Our initiative starts with a broad, regional coalition of individuals and organizations to advocate for the construction of all types of housing through our MBEP Action Center.

The MBEP Housing Team has been an active member of the ADU Working Group convened by the United Way Monterey County. We have provided technical assistance on devising policy, financing and advocacy strategies, creating communication tools, and providing outreach event support.

***COVID-19 Housing Response Position Paper***

MBEP’s Housing Advocacy Initiative aims to preserve and increase the quality of life and economic vibrancy of the Monterey Bay region by increasing housing supply, encouraging homeownership, supporting adequate funding, and fostering political will. 

The health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be most severe now, but will last for an indeterminate period of time. Local leaders must work to understand these effects and respond with policy solutions that will safeguard the region’s lowest-income renters, homeowners, undocumented workers, seniors, and homeless populations. Though legislation is being generated on national, state, and local levels, additional action is needed to protect these groups and minimize the delay of policy decisions around housing solutions in our region. 

Click here to read the full paper including the policy initiatives the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership recommends for endorsement.

This paper focuses on what local policy changes:  a) have been thoroughly researched, recommended, and/or tested in other locations for their effect on improving housing affordability in a highly constrained housing market; b) are far from fully implemented within the Monterey Bay Region; c) are likely to have a positive effect on affordability within the housing and policy characteristics of Monterey Bay Region; and d) have been judged by the authors to be, broadly speaking, politically realistic in many of the local jurisdictions within the Monterey Bay Region.

Click here to read the full paper

Thank you to Cosmic Design for producing this great video and FORA for their support.

Housing Focus Areas

MBEP ACTION CENTER

MBEP and the residents of our region need you to be an advocate for housing at the local, state and/or federal level. We invite you to learn more and encourage you to take action today. Your voice does matter!

MONTEREY BAY HOUSING TRUST

The Monterey Bay Housing Trust (MBHT) is a revolving loan fund managed by MBEP, enabled through a partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley. The goal of this fund is to increase the supply of affordable housing in the region, with an emphasis on low to very low-income households. MBHT loans can finance acquisition, pre-development or construction of affordable housing in the Monterey Bay region, inclusive of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties.

EMPLOYER SPONSORED HOUSING

Employers are increasingly playing a larger role in the welfare of their employees. In addition to health care benefits, retirement plans and wellness programs, some employers have raised the bar and created much needed, affordable homes for their employees. MBEP applauds these creative and innovative efforts that provide benefits for the company, the employees and the community.

Understanding “Affordable”

The standard definition of affordable housing is when housing expenses are no more than 30% of a family’s gross income. Ideally, very one of us is able to live in affordable housing.

The term affordable housing is also used to refer to income-restricted properties. In expensive regions like ours rents are not affordable to the average working family and these types of properties are absolutely essential for a thriving economy. Projects are typically built and managed by nonprofit and for-profit developers with money from conventional loans, private investment, bonds and/or tax credits.  Many of these developments also have rental subsidies attached to them in order to make the units more affordable to the very low and extremely low income families.

Is Income-Restricted Affordable Housing The Same As Public Housing Or Government Subsidized Housing? No. Public housing refers to affordable apartments for low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) but owned and managed by local Housing Authorities. This type of affordable housing provides a limited number of rental apartments to households in the HUD program and money for this program is provided by the federal government.

What is Area Median Income (AMI). Median income is the amount that divides the income distribution into two equal groups with half having income above that amount, and half having income below that amount. AMI is calculated each year by HUD as well as the California Department of Housing and Community Development for designated programs and is used to determine applicant eligibility (based on the level of household income) and to calculate rents for affordable housing programs. The graph above illustrates how AMI levels distinguish what is considered affordable and who qualifies for income-restricted, affordable rentals.

Income Limits for the Monterey Bay Region

2019 Income Limits – Monterey County
% Median Income 1 Person Affordable Rent 2 person Affordable Rent 4 person Affordable Rent
Extremely Low Income 0-30% $18,900 $389 $21,600 $445 $26,950 $556
Very Low Income 31-50% $31,450 $648 $35,950 $741 $44,900 $926
Low Income 51-80% $50,300 $778 $57,500 $890 $71,850 $1,112
Median Income 100% $51,850 $1,296 $59,300 $1,483 $74,100 $1,853
Moderate Income 81-120% $62,250 $1,426 $71,100 $1,631 $88,900 $2,038
2019 Income Limits – Santa Cruz County
% Median Income 1 Person Affordable Rent 2 person Affordable Rent 4 person Affordable Rent
Extremely Low Income 0-30% $25,800 $515 $29,450 $588 $36,800 $735
Very Low Income 31-50% $42,950 $858 $49,100 $980 $61,350 $1,225
Low Income 51-80% $68,900 $1,029 $78,750 $1,176 $98,400 $1,470
Median Income 100% $68,600 $1,715 $78,400 $1,960 $98,000 $2,450
Moderate Income 81-120% $82,300 $1,887 $94,100 $2,156 $117,600 $2,695
2019 Income Limits – San Benito County
% Median Income 1 Person Affordable Rent 2 person Affordable Rent 4 person Affordable Rent
Extremely Low Income 0-30% $21,450 $444 $24,500 $507 $30,600 $634
Very Low Income 31-50% $35,700 $739 $40,800 $845 $51,000 $1,056
Low Income 51-80% $57,150 $887 $65,300 $1,014 $81,600 $1,268
Median Income 100% $59,150 $1,479 $67,600 $1,690 $84,500 $2,113
Moderate Income 81-120% $71,000 $1,627 $81,100 $1,859 $101,400 $2,324

Industry Wages and Affordable Rent

Source: State of California Employment Development Department - Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) Data
Enhanced Bonus Density White Paper

The intent of this white paper, a collaboration between MBEP and Member Envision Housing, is to encourage the implementation of Enhanced Bonus Density ordinances in the Monterey Bay region to improve housing affordability and supply. Such ordinances can increase total housing production and significantly alter what is produced to include more lower-income affordable housing, rental housing, smaller housing units, and transit-oriented housing.

Housing Policy Change White Paper

MBEP works with water resource policy expert, Dr. Abby Ostovar, to study the housing and water situation on the Monterey Peninsula. The goal of this ‘blue’ paper (i.e. white paper on water) is to provide an analysis of the data collected and identify key recommendations to help strengthen the Peninsula’s ability to achieve its housing production goals, particularly with respect to housing affordability for lower-income households and the broader workforce. 

Housing Advocacy

Affordable housing is too often misunderstood. Many residents in our region work extremely hard to provide the services we rely on every day, yet still do not make enough money to afford the average rent. As a community, we have a responsibility to speak up and support affordable housing.

~ Matt Huerta, MBEP Housing Program Manager, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

What is Housing Advocacy?

Housing advocacy is a way to make your voice heard and influence the outcome of a project or policy at the local, state or federal level. There are several ways you can be a housing advocate. Housing advocacy activities include:

  • Promoting an issue among your social networks
  • Calling or writing to your elected officials
  • Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
  • Writing to the City Council, Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors
  • Attending City Council, Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors meetings
  • Meeting with your elected officials or their staff

Why Housing Advocacy?

  • To promote sound housing policy
  • To voice your approval of housing development
  • To support the natural growth of our community

Who Engages in Housing Advocacy Activities?

Anyone can engage in housing advocacy and MBEP has provided some resources below to make it easy for you to get started.Also, if you have a specific housing policy or project you would like MBEP to consider supporting please complete one of the following endorsement forms: Policy Endorsement Request or Project Endorsement Request.

Helpful Resources for Advocacy Communication:

Where Can I go to Learn More About Advocacy?

Policy & Project Endorsement Request

If you have a specific housing policy or project you would like MBEP to consider supporting, please complete one of the following endorsement forms: Policy Endorsement Request or Project Endorsement Request

Understanding Regional Housing Needs

In the Monterey Bay region, AMBAG (Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments) provides a Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) to project the number of homes needed in our region during a specified time period. The 2014-2023 RHNA goals are outlined here.