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Affordable housing is a major concern


Last updated 3/30/2023 at 1:34pm

The alarm clock reverberates your hardly restored body hours before the sky welcomes the sun. The morning temperatures are frigid yet is quickly combated with a sweat-inducing day of labor. Your energy declines as fast as the sun, yet the thought of supporting a family overseas engenders more energy to expend over another two hours of work.

Fallbrook is an unsuspecting luscious gem we have the luxury of calling home. Our fruitful environment attracts motivated workers who offer their labor in exchange for a subjectively livable wage. What impedes our ability to reckon the responsibility we have to support the workers who drive our local economy?

Despite our booming economy, the community members responsible for it are devoid of affordable housing. Providing subsidized single family dwellings for purchase to low income buyers would provide some respite from the entrapment loop many workers fail to derail.

Affordable housing continues to percolate in the national conversation as the country continues to wrestle with the post-pandemic real estate shakeup. Affordable housing is a major concern for many low-income families in San Diego County.

The high cost of living, combined with a shortage of affordable housing options, has made it difficult for many families to find safe, decent, and affordable housing. This situation is particularly challenging for families who want to build wealth and achieve the American dream of homeownership, particularly immigrant workers.

The current affordable housing programs in San Diego County are mainly focused on providing rented or leased multi-unit properties to low-income families. One of the major shifts in the area has been low income housing in and around public transit.

While this eases the burden on individual transportation, its success relies heavily on dense populations near public infrastructure. This interdependent relationship capitalizes on rented or leased properties and transportation infrastructure that supports county funding and operating costs, but not the taxpayer. While this may provide a short-term solution for housing, it is not an ideal long-term solution for families who want to build wealth and achieve homeownership.

Renting or leasing a multi-unit property may provide shelter, but it does not provide the sense of stability and security that comes with owning a home.

Single family homes, townhomes, or condos are an ideal solution for low-income families who want to build wealth and achieve homeownership. Owning a home allows families to build equity over time, which can be used to fund other goals, such as education, retirement, or starting a business.

Homeownership also provides stability and security for families, as they have control over their living environment and can make changes and improvements as needed.

Unfortunately, the cost of purchasing a home in San Diego County is prohibitively expensive for many low-income families. This is where affordable housing programs can make a difference. By providing subsidies, grants, or other forms of assistance to low-income families, these programs can make homeownership a reality for families who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

There are several affordable housing programs in San Diego County that focus on single family homes, townhomes, or condos. These programs provide financial assistance to families who are struggling to make ends meet, but who have the potential to become successful homeowners.

Some of these programs include:

● The San Diego County Affordable Housing Assistance Program provides down payment and closing cost assistance to low-income families who are purchasing a home in San Diego County. The program provides up to $40,000 in assistance, which can be used to cover the costs of purchasing a single-family home, townhome, or condo.

● The San Diego Housing Commission provides a range of affordable housing programs for low-income families in San Diego County. These programs include rental assistance, homeownership assistance, and support for homeless individuals and families. The commission also operates the Homeownership Opportunities Program, which provides financial assistance to low-income families who are purchasing a home.

● Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that builds and sells affordable homes to low-income families. The organization works with families to help them achieve homeownership, and provides a range of support services, such as financial education and home maintenance workshops.

While these programs may differ in their specific eligibility requirements and benefits, they all share a common goal: to provide affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income families.

However, the stark reality is that no matter how many benevolent programs exist for low-income families, San Diego County needs to take a big step forward to incentivize builders to create the necessary inventory of homes at affordable prices.

Despite the best of intentions over the years, efforts to bolster that inventory have been quelled by the pandemic and post order effects. The national real estate fluctuations have made builders wary to undertake subsidized construction efforts due to market volatility of material cost and sale price.

Additionally, just when we have a taste for an affordable house on the horizon, it is often met by the public scrutiny and fear of reducing existing property values. Those who already own homes are unwilling and vehemently oppose any building initiatives that compromise their own home values.

All of these conditions continue to push low-income families to the margins of society and decrease the likelihood of achieving the American dream.

Affordable housing programs that focus on single family homes, townhomes, or condos are a win-win for everyone involved. These programs not only help low-income families achieve the dream of homeownership, but they also strengthen communities by promoting stable, long-term homeownership.

When families own their homes, they have a vested interest in maintaining and improving their properties, which can lead to a more vibrant and prosperous community.

In conclusion, affordable housing programs that focus on single family homes, townhomes, or condos are an important solution for low-income families in San Diego County.

These programs provide a path to homeownership for families who might not otherwise achieve it. Our immigrant workers deserve to bear the fruits of their labor. The prevalence of undocumented workers in Fallbrook gives an explanation for the lack of affordable housing.

It remains our duty, as citizens of Fallbrook, to give voice to the voiceless backbone of our community.

Alexandra Frank and Matthew Paez


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