This week, NPR’s Planet Money looked into the challenges California faces when housing its most vulnerable populations.
California’s chronic homelessness crisis continues to worsen, with 72% of the state’s homeless living unsheltered. Experts cite housing supply and demand as the main culprit – Zillow economists found that when city’s average residents spend over a third of their income on housing, homelessness rapidly increases. High-income residents rent middle-income homes, middle-income residents move into low-income housing – leaving low-income residents and families with nowhere to go. The National Alliance to End Homelessness calls it ‘a game of musical chairs’ – with the most vulnerable residents ‘least likely to get the chair.’
What does this mean for the City of Fairfield?
San Francisco’s now-remote workers are ‘scooping up’ North Bay homes, driving up prices and ‘outstripping’ the number of listings available. Solano’s building permits are up in 2021, but most homes expected to list at over half a million dollars, leaving low-income families with nowhere to go. The City of Fairfield hasn’t built an affordable unit since 2014, and the County’s affordable deficit topped 10,000 homes in 2021. It’s clear who City and County leaders are prioritizing – and it’s not their most vulnerable residents.
Today, Georgetown’s nearly 300 units of 100% affordable housing sit empty in Fairfield. City and County leaders continue to refuse to support the affordable project’s rehabilitation. Georgetown’s two-, three- and four-bedroom townhomes could house 1,000 low- and very-low income Solano residents less than a year after approval. In addition, 48 units would be set aside for supportive housing for at-risk veterans.
The affordable homes at Georgetown are 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.