The League of Women Voters supports measures which would ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing. We recognize that the scarcity of affordable housing constitutes a crisis. We also realize that the need for increasing housing must be balanced with the need for open space. We give attention to the stresses involved the impact on transportation and services of all sorts and the fact that there is a limit to the supply of land, water, wastewater treatment, and parking. We also take into account that the County and city general plans limit the amount of development. While recognizing these constraints, we support the following objectives:
- To stress that priority be given to development of housing for low and moderate income persons.
- To support both public and private programs aimed at providing affordable housing.
- To encourage governmental officials to keep abreast of the most recent and innovative ways to promote increased affordable housing, i.e., innovative financing, land availability, streamlining the permit process, and assignment of a staff person to housing.
- To encourage private and public entities to make increased land available for affordable housing.
- To press for the dispersal of affordable housing throughout the community. This includes support for on-site inclusionary housing policies.
- To encourage the State to employ sanctions to enforce Housing Elements of General Plans.
- All available means of providing low-moderate income housing should be pursued by the city and county.
- A more aggressive effort to obtain funding for housing programs should be made. Efforts should also include strong lobbying for maintenance of existing federal and state programs and expansion of such programs.
- Emphasis of housing programs should be in the low-income sector. Programs should include provision of rental units as well as home ownership.
We support reasonable flexibility in zoning laws and development standards to keep building costs down. This could include cluster development, decreased height restrictions, smaller units, decreased setbacks, second units on existing family property, manufactured homes, and well-designed mobile home parks.
The League supports educating and motivating the community about affordable housing issues. This includes writing and distributing factual pamphlets, meeting with neighborhood associations, and sponsoring housing forums.