Reporting

October 13, 2016 by John Guenther

VIDEO: California’s housing crisis puts squeeze on employers and their workforce

As California's housing crisis is increasingly vexing more Californians across the income spectrum, more organizations are calling it a threat to the state's economic competitiveness and vitality. In the video above, leaders from business groups representing employers in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley talk about the impact of rising housing costs.

With one in four Californians struggling economically, rental rates keep rising and incomes overall are falling. This is putting a strain on California's workforce, especially on low-income residents, but also those in the middle-income range.

That pushes workers farther away, who must drive long distances from their homes to get to their jobs, especially when their jobs are in places like Santa Barbara, adding to traffic for everybody on the road.

Some employers in expensive Bay Area cities are so concerned about housing they're looking into workforce housing solutions for a whole range of income brackets.

A San Mateo County school district is exploring the development of workforce housing for teachers and staff pressured by the cost of living. And an agricultural company in Monterey County built their own workforce housing after experiencing for the first time not having enough seasonal workers available due to housing costs.

The problem is familiar for employers and workers in Southern California as well, as the cost of a median home in a six-county region there has gone over $500,000. This week, a planning group covering those six counties, the Southern California Association of Governments, gathered hundreds of local officials, planning experts, and homebuilders to talk about how to increase the housing supply through fiscal incentives, identifying funding resources, and local planning policies.

The conference also dove into the cost of "not housing" and the effects of the state's undersupply on affordability, health, and traffic.

The California Economic Summit has made housing a signature issue, elevating the problem to be part of the One Million Challenges, an ambitious set of goals to boost upward mobility and shared prosperity for all Californians. 

At the 2016 California Economic Summit on December 13-14, participants will gather to hone strategies that take an all-of-the-above approach, inviting ideas to advance the Summit's goal of building one million homes over the next decade.

You're invited to join them and share your ideas for tackling the housing crisis, closing the skills gap, and more.

Categories: Housing

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