The ‘10,000 homes… Initiative’. Looking at the right stuff?
The Mayor’s “10,000 homes in 10 years” proposal is now starting to be considered by a stakeholder group of “movers and shapers”. Now called the “Strong Housing Initiative”, the still being formed group is trying to get it’s arms around the issue and the steps needed to put a plan together.
Local, national and even international commentators have said that for our urban core rebirth to be successful in the long run, people need to live here. And I would add that they need to be able to afford to live here!
As a Realtor who serves Downtown/Midtown I believe the urban core needs to have a diversified residential population, from young professionals to young families to empty nesters and every group in between. What appears to be missing in current development proposals are concrete plans (pun intended) to develop “moderately priced” owner occupied housing in mid-range price points that will attract those that want to experience Downtown living.
Currently, there’s a lot of interest in downtown housing but little if any qualitative information about it. I hope the Mayor’s Task Force draws upon the earlier, innovative work of a Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s review that outlined the “core” problem (again, pun intended) and a course of action to identify the impediments and solutions to DT housing. Together these groups need to get a study going that gathers facts and market info about residential housing, especially “owner occupied” moderately priced homes. Then maybe we’ll see realistic and attainable proposals. Let’s hope they ask the right questions: We need to know what’s available, what’s needed, at what price,and who’s interested. Then, how do we get there.
Among Suburbanites, there is a strong perception that Downtown/Midtown housing is mostly relatively transient rental units. To change that perception, the city must help create owner occupied housing for folks who will buy and stay Downtown and form community bonds.