Comstock's magazine 0119 - January 2019 - Page 29

We know there’s a need for more hous- ing in our region. What are the key demographics within that group and how might their needs differ? We see housing across a continuum that’s needed. Not only do we need housing at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of affordability, we also have to provide workforce housing — people who may be earning minimum wage, but still need resources to help with their housing. We need housing for what we call that missing middle; those are people who are working and doing OK, but are still strug- gling because they’re paying more than half of their income toward rent. We have to look at it too from the homeownership perspective, where we’re helping get fam- ilies into homes and stabilized over the “ We are excited about developers who are coming to Sacramento and are going to provide affordable housing, and we are going to make that as easy as possible, and waiving fees is huge. long-term, because we know homeowner- ship builds wealth for families over a long period of time. Throughout that entire continuum, from someone who is home- less all the way up to homeownership, we see that there’s a need. What incentives exist to drive more affordable housing in Sacramento? The City Council really took a very pro- gressive step [in October 2018] in terms of fees — they put together a program where they waive development fees for affordable housing, and that’s a major step and really signals to the industry that we are open for business. We are excited about developers who are coming to Sac- ramento and are going to provide afford- housing is located in close proximity to transportation. … We’re glad to see there have been bills focusing resources on TOD. And then the state has done some major initiatives to push out funding for homelessness [projects]. At the federal level, we’re seeing the National Housing Trust Fund has increased. It was a long time in the making, but finally in 2016, we started to see those funds come to the states. About $10 million [to California] in 2016, $23 million in 2017, $30 million in 2018, and that’s expected to grow. So we’re very excited that we will be able to access more resources. comes to putting one of these projects to- W hat is the current inclusionar y housing requirement for developers to provide low- to moderate-income housing in new developments in Sac- ramento, and how has that require- ment changed in recent years? the state level is this focus on transit-ori- Previously, our inclusionary requirement able housing, and we are going to make that as easy as possible, and waiving fees is huge. That amounts to hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars when it gether, so that’s a great proactive step. At ented development and making sure that was that 15 percent would go toward January 2019 | 29