The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) published a new report titled “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes,” which paints a bleak picture of California’s affordable housing landscape. The report details the deficit of homes that are available to low-income renters, who are disproportionately people of color, stating that California has a shortage of more than 1.3 million rental homes.
According to the report, for every 100 low- and very low-income households, there are only 34 affordable and available rental units. Nearly half of all very low-income households are spending more than 50% of their income on housing costs and utilities.
In order to combat the ongoing housing insecurity and homelessness crises made clear by the evidence in the NLIHC report, California needs to drastically increase the supply of affordable homes across the state. In Fairfield, California, one such solution already exists: the Georgetown project.
Georgetown will bring nearly 300 units of 100 percent affordable two-, three- and four-bedroom homes to Fairfield, with 90 percent of the units available for low-income individuals and families and the remaining 10 percent for very-low-income residents. Additionally, 48 of the units are earmarked for veterans, who would also receive supportive services.
In Fairfield, some city and county leaders are opposing Georgetown while shirking their responsibility to build the housing the community desperately needs. While a coalition of veterans, housing advocates and labor groups are advocating for the Georgetown project, the opposition to the project from a handful of local leaders illustrates the way many local communities and NIMBY forces keep the state from reaching its affordable housing goals.
The Georgetown homes previously served as military housing for 20 years and have been vacant for more than a decade because the property owner, Hunt, needs cooperation from Travis Air Force Base to reconnect water and sewer services before the units can be refurbished. Hunt has agreed to pay the Base for water and sewer service and update the units at no cost to taxpayers.
These units, which would be brought to market approximately one year from the beginning of rehabilitation, would more than double the number of low- and very low-income units that the City of Fairfield has permitted in the last seven years, giving nearly a thousand community members a safe, affordable place to live.
The affordable homes at Georgetown are already supported by a growing coalition of housing groups and community organizations, including Disabled American Veterans, Department of CA, California YIMBY, Napa-Solano Building & Construction Trades Council, the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, and others.
More information about the Georgetown Project is available at HousingForHundreds.Com.