United Way Monterey County and Monterey Bay Economnic Partnership Housing Forum

The housing crisis is a long-standing issue in our community, the State of California, and across the country. 43% of all Monterey County residents spend more than 30% of their income on housing and 38% of all Monterey County residents do not earn enough money to meet basic needs. To identify solutions for this critical issue, California state ballot measures include four propositions concerning affordable housing.

Recognizing the complexity and importance of the housing situation, United Way Monterey County and Monterey Bay Economic Partnership brought community members together on Monday, October 29th at the Affordable Housing Forum. Panelists shared their insights on Propositions 1, 2, 5, and 10, discussed their social and economic implications, and answered questions from community members.

List of Panelists

First Panel:

California Proposition 1 authorizes bonds to fund specified housing assistance programs- legislative statute
Dana Cleary - Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association, Inc. (CHISPA)
Kevin Dayton - Business and Taxpayer Advocate in Monterey County

Second Panel:

California Proposition 2 authorizes bonds to fund existing housing program for individuals with mental illness- legislative statute
Betsy Wilson - MidPen Housing
Kevin Dayton - Business and Taxpayer Advocate in Monterey County

Third Panel:

California Proposition 5 changes requirements for certain property owners to transfer their property tax base to replacement property- initiative constitutional amendment and statute
Kim Di Benedetto - Monterey County Association of Realtors
Jane Barr - Eden Housing

Fourth Panel:

California Proposition 10 expands local governments’ authority to enact rent control on residential property- initiative statute.
Alina Harway - Non-Profit Housing Assn of Northern California
Scott Dick - Monterey County Association of Realtors

Panelists, speaking in support of these Propositions, offered different approaches concerning access to affordable housing, but their collective message was the same: Increase housing supply for the most vulnerable, including low income residents, veterans, farm workers, seniors, those with mental illness, disabled and victims of natural disasters, and homeless or those who are at great risk of becoming homeless. They reminded that the increase in supply of affordable housing would provide more stability for working families, while creating healthier, more productive and vibrant local communities.

Conversely, panelists discussed the Propositions’ fiscal impact on a local and statewide level and explained that funds allocated for affordable housing bonds would have to be repaid with interest over a long period of time, which would potentially become a burden on the next generations.

The event ended on an important message by a long-time community member of Monterey County, reminding us of the stigma about those who rent. The community member expressed the need for a cultural shift, a change in mentality about how we perceive and develop housing, and restated the importance of breaking down the barriers of class.

We hope that this forum provided an educational platform for our community to become more informed about the propositions before they cast their vote on November 6th. United Way Monterey County and the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership invite you to get more involved on a local level, starting with voting on November 6th.

We thank all panelists and community members for their participation. For those who couldn't attend the forum, we provide this recap summarizing the points of discussion.

Please click here for the pictures or watch the video below.