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Housing

A California housing crisis mystery: Rents are way up this decade, but eviction filings are way down

in Local Roundup

Shirley Gibson isn’t quite sure how to feel about these numbers.

As directing attorney of the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County — which offers legal services to low-income tenants caught between the preposterously priced southern suburbs of San Francisco and the preposterously priced suburbs of Silicon Valley — she’s seen firsthand how California’s housing affordability crisis has overwhelmed her clientele.

Rents in San Mateo County have increased nearly 55% since the start of the decade. A two-bedroom in Redwood City, the county seat, now goes for $3,500, according to data from Apartment List. Strong demand, fueled by the influx of high-income tech workers, means vacancy rates are low.

“I don’t know what a normal housing market is anymore,” said Gibson. “There’s a tush for every seat right now. You can rent any unit you want within a week.”

Continue Reading on Mercury News

Second phase of affordable housing project gets underway in Turlock

in Local Roundup

The effort to ease the shortage of affordable housing in Turlock took a small step forward recently when officials broke ground on the second phase of Avena Bella.

EAH Housing, an affordable housing nonprofit organization, has begun working on the second phase of the Avena Bella development in Turlock. Located at 500 W. Linwood Avenue, Avena Bella II is a 60-unit expansion of the 80-unit Avena Bella I, completed in 2014.

The two-story Mediterranean style apartment buildings will provide 60 new 1-,2-, and 3- bedroom rental apartments for housing for people whose income is below or at 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income. It will share amenities with Avena Bella I, such as a resident community room with a kitchen, computer lab, pool, BBQ and recreation areas, children’s playground, among other features. It will also be environmentally friendly and will have a solar thermal water heating system and solar panels to reduce the development’s carbon footprint.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Council approves apartment complex

in Local Roundup

Ceres’ first apartment complex in approximately 15 years was approved Monday evening by the Ceres City Council.

The city expects development of the 64-unit apartment complex and adjacent 8,240-square-foot retail commercial building for southwest Ceres to occur in three phases over the next three years. Jaskarn Chahal of Chahal Investments, LLC of Ceres is the applicant.

The council voted 4-0 to approve the project. Mayor Chris Vierra was absent.

Continue Reading on The Ceres Courier

Turlock project will add 60 low-income apartments. The waiting list is long

in Local Roundup

Another 60 apartments for low-income people will rise soon at the Avena Bella complex in southwest Turlock.

The City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night to lend part of the funding for the $18 million expansion. The project, expected to open in fall 2020, comes amid a tight rental market in California.

The apartments will be next to the 80-unit first phase that EAH Housing opened in 2013 at 500 W. Linwood Avenue. It has amenities such as a swimming pool, a children’s play structure and a community center with space for tutoring, potlucks and other activities.

“What we provide here at EAH is more than just affordable housing,” said Melody Davis, a property supervisor for the nonprofit. “We provide opportunities for growth.”

About 600 people have expressed interest in living in the second and final phase, said Maryn Pitt, assistant to the city manager for economic development and housing.

Continue Reading on Modesto Bee

Why so few places to live in Modesto? A clue. It has to do with raging economy

in Economy/Local Roundup

Job growth is a leading indicator of economic recovery.

But are you living the dream if a large percentage of your paycheck goes to housing costs, or a shabby apartment in Modesto or Turlock is all you can afford>

In cities across the country, housing construction has not kept up with a long streak of job growth that followed the terrible recession of 2008 and 2009, according to a study by Apartment List, an online apartment-finding service.

In the Modesto area, the economy added 18,324 jobs between 2008 and 2018 or 3.4 jobs per 1,000 residents. During the same time period, less than 1 permit for housing construction was issued per 1,000 residents. The study concluded that 4.2 jobs were created here for every building permit issued for housing.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

The Californians forced to live in cars and RVs

in Local Roundup

The faded, creased photograph shows a 13-year-old Vallie Brown smiling shyly as she pulls back her hair in the back of a large van. She is wearing a white one-piece swimsuit and at first glance, she looks like she’s coming back from a sun-soaked day at the beach.

Looking at the picture of Brown, few people would suspect that the girl in the snapshot was living out of that van with her mother. That each night after it grew dark, she curled up on the backseats to sleep. That she wore that swimsuit under her clothes because she had to bathe in gas station bathrooms.

More than four decades later, and long before government data would ultimately confirm her suspicion, her experiences helped Brown to recognize that California’s housing crisis had taken another complicated turn – that the tenuous existence of her family in her youth had become a reality for far too many in the present.

Continue Reading on The Guardian

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