Why SLO does not have affordable housing

April 23, 2017

Allan Cooper

OPINION by ALLAN COOPER

The regulatory process has universally been blamed for the high cost of housing. This is a myth.

Even if, here in San Luis Obispo, we eliminate all regulatory constraints in the permitting process and new housing can be built more quickly:

1. We will never have affordable housing when our rate of job growth (2 percent per year) exceeds the growth in our housing supply (maximum 1 percent per year).

2. We will never have affordable housing as long as Cal Poly enrollments keep increasing thereby driving up rents and the price of home purchases.

3. We will never have affordable housing because new construction always costs more and more profits are to be made building larger homes. All of this raises the median price of new and existing housing.

4. We will never have affordable housing as long as mortgage rates are ratcheting up.

5. We will never have affordable housing as long as rents are high in SLO and therefore suppressing the growth in, and increasing the demand for, owner-occupied housing.

6. We will never have affordable housing when there remain incentives to own a house as an investment and because of the standard tax deductions, write-offs on property taxes and rental income.

7. We will never have affordable housing if cheap construction labor (undocumented workers) are deported.

8. We will never have affordable housing because the high capital gains taxes assessed on the sale of a house discourages the elderly to downsize. This suppresses the availability of housing.

9. We will never have affordable housing as long as wealthy retirees from the urban centers cash in on their million dollar homes and move to SLO.

10. We will never have affordable housing as long as the SLO Chamber, the SLO Downtown Association and the SLO Promotional Coordinating Committee keep promoting tourism. More visitors to SLO whet the appetite of prospective homeowners and increases the demand.

11. We will never have affordable housing as long as local tax assessments keep rising.

12. We will never have affordable housing as long as San Luis Obispo remains a desirable place to live. Even if SLO no longer remains a desirable place to live – like LA – the cost of housing will remain high – as it has in LA.

13. We will never have affordable housing as long as new transplants employed in the professions and the government sector command such high salaries.

14. We will never have affordable housing as long as down payments on mortgages remain at 20 percent.

15. We will never have affordable housing as long as foreign investors keep purchasing our homes in order to provide a safe haven for their wealth.

 


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r0y

While I do not doubt that government often causes problems they wish to “fix,” I believe it is called “affordable housing” because “undesirable housing” just doesn’t have a nice ring to it.


shelworth

Geez, talk about taking something simple and turning it into something difficult! Great place to live = expensive, crappy place to live = cheap. How’s that for a formula? I must have missed that part of the Bill of Rights where it says; “You have the right to a wonderful home”. Try working your ass off and buying your first house when your in your 50’s like I did! If you want it sooner, work smarter or move to Detroit, you can buy a big house for a dollar!


Jon Tatro

I’m trying to find where in the book of life it is written you shall have affordable housing wherever and whenever you want it. What Alan doesn’t understand is it’s called supply side economics. When more people want to live in nice areas the price will go up due to competition. I know areas in the valley where Allan can buy a house for $150k. That’s pretty affordable Allan you could move there and be so happy.


Frederick1337

There is only one real reason affordable housing cannot be had in San Luis Obispo county. Public corruption. Simple, straightforward, honest, unlike politicians.


debeddarn

We will never have affordable housing ad long as new homes are assed a “fee” to support affordable housing. The “fee” automatically raises the price of all homes.

We will never have affordable housing as long as renters vote in new bond “fees and taxes” because landlords must raise the rent to compensate.

We will never have affordable housing as long as property taxes go up.

We will never have affordable housing as long as renters damage property because landlords have to raise rents to cover the risk.

We will never have affordable housing as long as laws are made that prevents screening of renters.

We will never have affordable housing as long as laws are made that make landlords remodel homes to conform to new codes

We will never have affordable housing as long as tenants are irresponsible.

We will never have affordable housing as long as California is controlled by Democrats.

We will never have affordable housing as long as California schools give free tuition to illegal aliens.

We will never have affordable housing as long as California is a criminal haven for illegal aliens.


watsup

I thought the article by debeddarn had an excellent response regarding affordable housing.

debeddarn hit many of the reasons we can never have affordable housing here in our county.


SLO_Johnny

We could have affordable housing if higher density multifamily units were allowed and there was less demand for open space. The cost of plans and permits and assessments is about $60,000 before even a single teaspoon of dirt is moved. The incredibly slow process to obtain permission to build adds tremendously to the cost.


roy in nipomo

You will never have affordable housing while SLO County remains a “slow growth” (virtually no growth) county. With government limiting new housing, the demand will always outstrip the supply and so the prices will remain high. Apparently that is what the majority of the voters (particularly the Cal Poly students who will leave after 4-5 years, but really like the “small town” feel while they are here) want.


SLOnative

Great reasons, but why did you leave out the cost of permits? Maybe a contractor can fill you in.


Rich in MB

We will never have affordable housing as long as the Government makes programs to fight it, because Government programs fail. History is our lesson here. Accept the science or be a science denyer and repeat history.


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