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Hard Times in Bay Area for Low-Income Housing

In 2017, California’s Bay Area cities and counties were far behind in catering to the housing demand for very low- to moderate-income levels, according to a report released by the Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG).  

The report revealed that the region saw an additional 27,103 new housing units in 2017 than 2016 (20,868), or 2015 (20,495); yet only 18 percent of these units were for very low- to moderate-income residents, a number that is far below the 58 percent required by California’s Housing and Community Development Department. 

"With this new data, we can clearly see that more housing development is on the way, but we're still far behind in meeting the housing demand for all income levels,” said David Rabbitt, President, ABAG and Sonoma County Supervisor. "The work that is being done at ABAG and at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in the Committee to House the Bay Area, known as CASA, is urgently needed to bring Bay Area leaders together to solve this problem." 

New data on ABAG’s web portal, now includes complete datasets from 2014 to 2017 and will continue to be updated to incorporate housing permit and policy activities for cities and counties from 2018 onwards.

According to the ABAG, these datasets provide a resource to shape both the development and evaluation of housing policies for Bay Area and will help support MTC's funding initiatives, which include the One Bay Area Grant program and the new Housing Incentive Pool challenge grant program. Both these initiatives help to permit, produce and preserve housing. The Housing Incentive Pool rewards local governments that permit or preserve the greatest number of housing units for households belonging to very low- to moderate-income levels.

About Author: Jonathan Lichtenwalter

Jonathan Lichtenwalter has recently graduated college with degrees in creative writing and integrative studies, combining the fields of journalism, technical writing, and Spanish. He has worked as a staff writer for the NTDaily. He also wrote and edited for the websites evidenceforchristianity.org and cleverirrigationsystem.com.

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