Santa Clarita won’t reach housing production targets for 800 years, new study predictsMai Nguyen Do March 2, 2019 0 COMMENTS
A new report from nonprofit think tanks Next 10 and Beacon Economics released on Feb. 28 projects that at the current pace of development, Santa Clarita will not meet all of its low-income housing production targets until at least 2812.
The report grades California’s jurisdictions on progress toward meeting their current Regional Housing Needs Assessment targets, which are updated every five to eight years and determine the amount of housing units at each income level that every city needs to permit. The study finds most regions are far behind on permitting new housing units at all levels, and 100 of the 539 jurisdictions have not been participating in the reporting process whatsoever.
The Regional Housing Needs Assessment targets include three tiers: very-low-income, low-income and moderate-income housing. The study finds that Santa Clarita is on track to meet its very-low-income target in 2812, its low-income target in 2060 and its moderate-income target in 2571.
From 2000 to 2004, Santa Clarita issued permits for new housing construction at rates higher than the Los Angeles County average, but in 2005 the rate decreased to meet the county average of 1.8 permits per 1,000 residents, according to the Southern California Association of Governments.
In addition to lower rates of new housing permitting, the Santa Clarita Valley division of the Southland Association of Realtors found that Santa Clarita’s median house price increased by almost 5 percent between 2017 and 2018 to $595,242.
“This data shows that statewide, less than 10 percent of the RHNA-allocated low- and very-low income units have been permitted, compared to nearly half of the higher-income housing,” Next 10 founder F. Noel Perry said. “This disturbing trend reveals how little is being done to alleviate the affordability crisis in California, contributing to rising homelessness and displacement across the state.”
The report also finds that particularly in higher-income areas, the allocation of housing production targets is misaligned with population change and job growth projections. Currently, the California Department of Housing and Community Development uses population forecasts from the Department of Finance to develop housing targets.
“If Beverly Hills can get an A because they built all three of the units allocated to them over an eight-year period, despite being forecasted to add an estimated 300 households and 3,400 jobs by 2020, you begin to get a sense that the targets themselves are part of the problem,” Beacon Economics director Adam Fowler said. “By relying on this trend of declining household formation to set our future targets, we are failing to capture the extent of housing demand in the state and guaranteeing an ongoing housing shortage.”
Mai Nguyen Do is a Vietnamese American poet and researcher. She is a lifelong Santa Clarita resident and a College of the Canyons graduate. She is also the author of Ghosts Still Walking (2016) and Battlefield Blooming (2019). Find her on Twitter @DoNguyenMai.