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Affordable Housing Crisis Receiving New Attention

Save money for home costIn a recent announcement, a co-sponsored statewide poll of Latino registered voters conducted by the Latino Community Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation discovered that affordable housing issues could serve as a significant voting influencer for the Latino community.

The poll surveyed 900 Latino adults between January 6-14, 2018. Interviews were collected via landline, cell phone, and web. The results found that 88 percent of voters agreed that policymakers in California should take steps to, "expand development of affordable housing" including 62 percent who strongly agreed—representing the highest mark of any policy issues assessed on the survey.

According to Matt Barreto, Co-Founder of Latino Decisions who oversaw the poll, Latinos in California expects a well-functioning and progressive state government that helps create opportunities for people to succeed.

“With housing prices skyrocketing, Latino voters are telling the state to do something serious and do something now,” said Barreto. “Homeownership is the backbone of economic stability and the American Dream and Latinos expect the state to level the playing field.”

Specifically, a desire for additional affordable housing initiatives was highest in the Bay Area at 91 percent of voters agreeing, and the Los Angeles metro area at 90 percent, both represent the two largest urban areas in the state.

In addition, the survey found that Latino voters said affordable housing is an issue that could influence their support for or against a candidate—with 81 percent of Latinos responding they would be more likely to support the candidate who endorsed and campaigned in favor of the $4 billion state bond for affordable housing.

"Addressing the housing crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area is central to our region's economic prosperity," said Fred Blackwell, CEO of The San Francisco Foundation. "It is encouraging to see that 81 percent of Latino voters who participated in the survey are much more—and somewhat more—likely to support the 2018 California gubernatorial candidate that supports state measures to produce, preserve, and protect affordable housing.”

In a separate announcement in response to affordable housing issues, a group of U.S. mayors representing 13 million Americans joined with diverse businesses to launch a new coalition initiated by late Mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee.

The group is called the Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, which consists of local government and business leaders that have come together to collaborate and advance public and private partnerships in an effort to combat the affordable housing and homelessness crisis. One step towards progress is the investment in John and Jill Ker Conway Residence, a 14-story high-rise, located in Washington, D.C., just blocks from the Capitol that offers affordable housing.

"We recognize that by investing in affordable housing, we are investing in safer, stronger communities and building new pathways to the middle class for our most vulnerable residents,” said Muriel Bowser, Washington, D.C. Mayor.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that more than half-a-million Americans experienced homelessness on a given night in 2017, the Residence currently offers new and permanent housing for 60 formerly-homeless veterans and 64 low-and moderate-income Washington, D.C. residents.

About Author: Nicole Casperson

Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech's College of Media and Communications. Her thesis will be published by the International Communication Association this fall. To contact Casperson, e-mail: nicole.casperson@thefivestar.com.
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