By Kay Wilson-Bolton
President, Ventura County Coastal Assn of REALTORS®
December 24, 2000
In this time of prosperity in the land, most of us don’t realize that it is still not for everyone. This time of year finds our shelters filled with many people of all ages.
A shelter in Camarillo houses a young women with two young children who were living in a tent in Steckel Park near Santa Paula. She managed to obtain a job at a department store but was not able to have the kids in school because she had no address.
It’s hard to imagine that life could be so tough for some. REALTORS® spend a lot of time during the holidays working for families. The efforts range from obtaining gifts and food for homeless people to sponsoring families in shelters and learning centers.
The political beat continues for REALTORS® because the story of a home for everyone is tied directly to our work.
With the new rules throughout the County created by the SOAR initiatives, good minds will have to come to the table. Already, major employers are looking elsewhere for expansion or relocation due to the high cost of housing.
One wise woman attached to the REALTOR® community noted that soon our County’s greatest export will be babies because there is little home for our own kids to return home and find affordable living space.
The fallout from SOAR has not yet materialized. Cities will have to look hard at inclusionary zoning where portions of all new developments will be targeted to providing various affordable housing units.
Cities will have to look at building “up” instead of out which creates dense living situations. Planners will have to be creative and councils become students of new ways of looking at housing options.
Apartments on top of retail buildings in commercial districts can provide convenience and affordability. Reconstruction of substandard living units and all parts of towns and cities will open new clean and safe housing opportunities.
Cities will have to look at incentive zoning to entice developers into areas not currently available for housing and balance this against lost jobs and opportunities.
A new partnership has been formed between the Ventura County Economic Development Association and the Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS® to educate and advocate the wise and industrious use of the land and to lobby for legislation that will keep employers in Ventura County and satisfy the housing needs that already exist.
The task is formidable but the right players have come together to work on problems that need attention today and will become increasingly alarming as time goes on.
When buying or selling your next home, choose a REALTOR® . There is a difference and you can benefit. For more information, contact Randy McCaslin, CEO, Ventura County Coastal Assn of REALTORS® at 981.2100. Our website is http://www.vc-realtors.com