More housing in San Luis Obispo will benefit businesses, the community and the environment.
The building of new homes has not kept pace with the rate at which new jobs have been added. This has a huge impact on the local economy as new as well as established businesses and organizations struggle to recruit and keep employees, as families can only find affordable housing farther away from the places they work and go to school.
The local housing crisis affects all of these things and we are hard at work collaborating with all interested parties, officials, businesses, and community members to create solutions and discuss how to move forward.
Your involvement is paramount. Below we offer a short guide, created with the help of others, complete with tools, ideas and simple steps to facilitate your involvement. More voices are needed to make progress and find solutions, so arm yourself with some basics and jump into the fray.
This imbalance is not sustainable. Now we need to focus on moving towards a solution, and how to improve the lives of residents, the environment we live in, and the ability for people to pursue their passions in the place they love.
Tools to get involved
Want to join the conversation and have your voice heard? Not sure how to make that happen? We have compiled some resources that explain how easy it is to write a letter, speak at a meeting and make a difference.
Writing a letter (courtesy of dwellforward)
Talking at a San Luis Obispo City meeting
Want to know more about what is going on at the city? Register to receive email updates here.
Watch public meetings including Planning Commission and City Council here.
Recent Chamber housing advocacy
For the past number of years, the SLO Chamber has been researching and advocating on behalf of the business community, and residents, for clear policy reforms that would streamline the planning and development process, and unlock opportunities to create more housing.
Want proof? Check the links below.
“Using the Vulcan printer, ICON can print an entire home for $10,000 and plans to bring costs down to $4,000 per house.” This cheap 3D-printed home is a start for the 1 billion who lack shelter, The Verge
“There’s a lot of single-family zoning in the center of our cities, and urban planners, civil society, and city leaders are questioning whether these zoning rules make sense. We’re missing dwellings that can house more people and are more affordable, such as duplexes, triplexes, and ADUs.” The Granny Flats Are Coming, City Lab
“The same cities that struggle to provide affordable housing today eliminated their critical-but-maligned flexible housing stock after World War II.” When America’s Basic Housing Unit Was a Bed, Not a House, City Lab
“We found that these local governments are imposing discretionary review processes on all residential development projects of five or more units within their borders. That means even if these developments comply with the underlying zoning code, they require additional scrutiny from the local government before obtaining a building permit.” Getting it Right: Examining the Local Land Use Entitlement Process in California to Inform Policy and Process, UC Berkeley Law School
“After Minneapolis slashed parking requirements, developers started to produce more affordable mid-rise apartment buildings instead of luxury high-rises.” How Parking Mandates Tilt the Market Toward “Luxury” Housing, Streetsblog USA
“Getting zoning right requires a nuanced understanding of many interacting forces, and constant revision and adjustment. As it enters its second century, zoning remains a powerful but imperfect tool, but among the best we have for shaping cities.” Zoning’s next century, SPUR
“Recent reports have demonstrated that more young workers are deciding to pick up and move from high cost cities to places with more affordable housing. Insufficient housing that is affordable to the workforce puts at risk the sustainability of the economy as the region has increasing difficulty attracting and retaining workers.” Seven Innovative Affordable Housing Strategies in Higher Cost Markets: Lessons from Around the U.S., Hand
“While incredible new materials transform what we build, artificial intelligence and virtual reality are revolutionizing how we design.” Peter Diamandis – Revolutionizing Construction + Real Estate
“The hope is to set expectations with applicants at the start and acknowledge some buildings accessory dwelling units just won’t work,” Just 23 in-law units built after two years as SF seeks to iron out approval process, San Francisco Examiner
What others are saying
“The last time the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors had a big conversation about housing, the average price of homes was $100,000 cheaper than it is now.”
– As housing prices rise, SLO County supervisors look at big policy change, The Tribune
“Although the economy has fully recovered, homebuilding has increased to just half of its pre-recession high. The shortage has sent home prices and rents soaring, particularly in coastal urban areas, thus forcing many working families to spend half or more of their incomes for shelter – if they can find it.”
– Housing crisis needs action, not just token gesture, Dan Walters, CALmatters
“Other communities have been providing housing for San Luis Obispo’s workforce for decades. It’s time the city pulled its weight. We urge the San Luis Obispo City Council to approve San Luis Ranch and Avila Ranch.”
– There’s a ridiculous shortage of homes in SLO. These projects would help, The Tribune Editorial Board, July 16, 2017
What can we do to change things? We can strongly urge the City Council to move forward and implement the plans already on the books, specifically LUCE and the projects included in that document.
– San Luis Obispo’s housing shortage is bad for our health, Alan Iftiniuk | Viewpoint, April 1, 2017 (The Tribune)
As a mortgage adviser, I am watching young families’ dreams crumble as home prices continue to rise. These are families with good jobs, who contribute generously to our community’s civic life, but who are unable to keep pace with the high cost of housing in our city.
– SLO’s housing shortage is real. We need more housing now, Donna Lewis | Letter to the Editor, May 4, 2017 (The Tribune)
More than just basic shelter, housing affects our lives in other important ways, determining our access to work, education, recreation, and shopping.
– California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences, Legislative Analyst’s Office, March 17, 2015
Considerable evidence suggests that construction of market–rate housing reduces housing costs for low–income households and, consequently, helps to mitigate displacement in many cases.
– Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing, Legislative Analyst’s Office, Feb. 9, 2016
Financial advisors recommend spending no more than 30% of your income on housing, but one in three renters in California pays more than half of their income to their landlord.
– To end the housing crisis, California leaders can’t be afraid to put all options on the table, LA Times Editorial Board, May 27, 2017 (Los Angeles Times)
Some of the suggested solutions from participants included recommendations that local governments rezone to increase density in areas of large lot sizes and weigh the need for residential zoning in areas of commercial designation.
– Leaders gather to find solutions to SLO County’s housing crunch, March 9, 2017 (The Tribune)