Solving the continuing national affordable housing crisis and associated acceleration of homelessness is getting scant attention by local and national politicians. The wealthiest state in the Union, California, could well be “ground zero” for the proliferation of homelessness and the growing lack of affordable housing, especially in the states’ two major metropolitan areas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The state of California, despite allocating billions of taxpayer dollars governments have failed to put a dent in populations of street dwellers. Things won’t change until policymakers recognize that their current approach doesn’t scale and too often ignores the public’s interest in clean, safe streets.

California is not the only state that is being challenged with affordable housing and homelessness issues, although the Golden State’s approach to the crisis is the most pronounced with little being accomplished to alleviate the plague of homelessness and housing affordability.

The following are excerpts from 9/30/19 online op-ed penned by Mark Joffe for The Mercury News, which epitomizes problems with the state of California’s affordable housing and related homelessness policy and a suggestion that manufactured homes should be utilized to help solve the dilemma. A notion that has been advanced before has been utilized successfully in smaller cities and towns, usually in partnership with charities and faith-based organizations.

Mark Joffe writes:

“In July, Gov. Gavin Newsome toured the Estrella Vista Apartments, a new affordable housing development in Emeryville. The visit allowed Newsome to highlight steps the state, local governments, and nonprofits are taking to tackle homelessness and the shortage of housing. It also gave him an opportunity to push back against President Trump, who has been weaponizing the homelessness issue against California Democrats.

But the Estrella Vista project epitomizes the problems with California affordable housing policy: Estrella Vista’s 87 units have an average per-unit cost $736,239 and it took eight years from property acquisition to project completion. High costs and long development times are common for the kind of infill, transit-oriented projects California planners prefer.”

“A more cost-effective solution to California’s solution to California’s housing would involve placing large volumes of manufactured homes in low-cost areas. Sites could be economically distressed cities and towns or on undeveloped parcels in unincorporated areas. Cities with high land costs like San Francisco should be allowed to meet their affordable housing obligations by paying cities and counties in less expensive areas to host new developments. This approach could quickly produce tens of thousands of new housing units needed to end street homelessness.”

By providing large volumes of truly affordable housing and empowering property owners to police their streets, California policymakers can solve the homelessness crisis without breaking the bank.”

Your invited to review our recent previous reports concerning affordable housing issues by clicking the following titles:  “Manufactured Home Complex For Homeless Planned For Woodland, California”  — “Affordable Housing Crisis: Big Government Rent Subsidies Or Private Sector Solutions Including Manufactured Homeownership

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