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By Kim Murphy
Murphy and Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real Estate Round-Up: Housing Solutions?

 

Last updated 7/9/2018 at 1:17pm

Shane Gibson photo

Northbound I-15 traffic consistently backs up through Rainbow, typically between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. on weekdays, as commuters return to their homes in Riverside County.

Last Monday I attended a forum entitled "Exploring Consensus-Driven Solutions to San Diego's Housing Crisis." The panelists were Kevin Falconer, mayor of San Diego; Borre Winckel, president and CEO of the Building Industry Association of San Diego County; Debbie Ruane Sr. executive vice president and chief strategy officer of the San Diego Housing Commission and Colin Parent, executive director and general counsel of Circulate San Diego and La Mesa city council member. The moderator was Steve White, president of the California Association of Realtors.

So why would I attend a forum about housing solutions in San Diego? The shortage of housing is a statewide shortage. The city of San Diego is finding solutions to promote housing innovation by bringing together a diverse range of interest groups – often representing different sections of the political spectrum – to identify mutually satisfactory outcomes at the city level. Note those words: mutually satisfactory outcome.

I can hear you already, Kim Murphy must be pro-growth, because here she goes again talking about building more homes. Not true, but I hope you can agree that knowledge is power and mutually satisfactory outcomes sounds mutually satisfactory to me. What do you think?

Because the housing shortage is the most discussed topic throughout the state, the legislators have passed multiple laws, effective Jan. 1, that will streamline the process of building residential units throughout the state.

Senate Bill 35 provided for "by-right" approval for infill projects with two or more residential units or Accessory Dwelling Units. Assembly Bill 72 requires that city and county general plans include long-term plans with specific mandatory housing units. That number for San Diego County is 177,000 over the next 10 years.

Other bills passed will streamline the permitting process, prohibit the disapproval of development unless there is a preponderance of evidence, remove governmental restraints that impact the cost and supply of residential development and establish workforce housing opportunities by eliminating project specific environmental review.

That's a lot to digest, even for me. Here's what I want you to consider. Historically, tenants would move up to become homeowners after three to four years of renting; that timeline is now seven to eight years. Why is that? Renters are paying on average 50 percent of their income in rent. They are not able to save for a home.

Renting was the first step toward home ownership, and it is stagnant. The millennials are moving out of the state, not because they can't find jobs, but because they can't afford to buy a home near where they work.

Companies can't open new offices because they can't find affordable housing for their employees. Seniors are moving out of state because they can't afford to downsize. It's a problem of supply and demand, and we have demand and no supply. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Only 1 percent of the unincorporated area is proposed for development and mostly along transit corridors. In 2015, the number of commuters traveling from south Riverside County into San Diego County was 159,000 vehicles per day. Judging by the congestion, that number in 2018 is much larger. The buyers for the proposed home projects are already on our roads. Despite these facts, there are groups who want absolutely no growth.

Groups stop development by filing a complaint against the California Environmental Quality Act; 82 percent of these complaints are filed anonymously. Who'd think that someone would feel emboldened to oppose something and not be willing to put their name on it?

For me, this is the thing: I want my children to be able to live here and own a home to raise their children. I want to stay here and be able to downsize when I'm ready. I believe that teachers, firefighters, nurses and small-business owners should be able to live in the community in which they work.

I know there are many of you who feel the same way. Fallbrook is a great place to live. Our homes are very important to us. That dream should exist for others.

Kim Murphy can be reached at kim@murphy-realty.com or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N. Main Avenue, in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.

 

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