CHICO – Chico published its 2022-2030 Housing Element Draft on Thursday – a key part of the city’s policy to serve as a blueprint for future population and housing development that will guide growth for the next eight years.
The draft describes the housing needs, constraints and resources of the city; Establishes goals, policies and actions to guide city policy and planning efforts; And it is necessary to demonstrate that there is a sufficient amount of land to accommodate the increase from the income level.
The housing element is updated every 8 years and was last updated in 2014. The 2022-2030 Housing Element Draft started in January 2021 and opened up opportunities for community input in 2 meetings and a survey. It can be read at www.chicohousingelement.com.
Public comments regarding the draft housing element will be accepted for the next 30 days. Residents can attend both City Council Chambers, a Planning Commission meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 2, and a Chico City Council meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 21.
It should be noted that the city of Chico does not develop housing directly – rather it sets guidelines for allowing development by developers.
Chico’s progress in meeting the allocation of its regional housing needs for the years 2014 to 2022 is mixed.
The city, working with developers, did not produce enough medium to extremely low-income housing units to meet the needs of the city projected in the 2014-2022 housing element.
At that time, 487 ultra-low income, 487 ultra-low income, 643 low income and 708 middle income level units were allotted.
From 2014 to 2021, 142, 193, 114 and 335 units were reported to be made, respectively.
Using data from tax credits, units manufactured from January to June 2022 increase this to 204, 442, 321 and 335 respectively – still almost half of the total required units produced.
However, the city produced more than double the estimated amount of above-middle income units needed to build 3,599 out of the 1,638 units allotted.
In all, 4,383 units were produced at Chico – 420 more than the 3,963 units that were allocated, but mostly skewed towards units of middle income levels.
“The negative effects of the Camp Fire on the Chico housing market cannot be overestimated,” the report said.
Chico’s population increased to 18,040 overnight with nearly 14,000 destroyed homes in Paradise as a result of the Campfire, which declared a disaster to open up federal resources to help provide $32 million to Chico and $64 million to Butte County. To initiate a response. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The city reported that these funds were awarded to six new construction projects to be completed by 2025, with 399 units in Chico. In addition, California created a disaster tax credit for affordable rental projects in Butte County, funding 10 different projects with 948 units by 2024.
The city predicts in its new 2022-2030 draft housing element that it will need to allocate 1,101 very low income, 507 low income, 770 middle income and 1,110 middle income level units over the next eight years.
The city’s “Adequate Site List” of land suitable for development shows 2,815 sites for very low- and low-income units, 882 sites for middle-income and 1,110 sites for above-middle-income units.
In its assessment of fair housing, the city writes about some of the take-aways that affect housing availability and affordability – located in Chapter 4 of the draft housing element.
First, the influx of new residents as a result of the Camp Fire disaster put pressure on vacancies, prices, and in turn forced residents to pay a substantial portion of their income for housing.
The vacancy rate for units available for rent did not exceed 3.3% from 2018 to 2021, with 0% vacancy in affordable complexes and as low as 2% in other rental complexes.
The median home prices in the assessment report Chico’s rose from $380,000 in 2018 to $410,000 in 2020.
Finally, the city writes that a high rent burden exists for some – about a third of all Chico renters pay more than 50% of their income for housing costs and one in four renters make more than $20,000 a year. earn less.
The city lists nine goals of its community’s vision and values that indicate the direction the community is moving towards. Goals are accomplished through the policies and actions listed within each goal.
Notable goals include improving fair housing options and equitable access to opportunity; support output that is affordable for low-income households; Improvements to existing homes and neighborhoods; Removing government barriers to increased home ownership and the development of housing, emergency shelters and low-obstacle navigation centers.
Alongside disaster-funded projects for affordable housing, the city seeks to increase housing production by cutting restrictions on ancillary housing units.
It will amend the code for ancillary housing units to eliminate footpath requirements, eliminate development fees, and allow ancillary housing units on multi-family and single-family lots under certain conditions.
The city said it is working to fully implement Senate Bill 9, passed in 2021, to convert a single-family residence to a two-unit home or build a second unit. It also allows subdivision of existing lots.
Ultimately, the city said it would use $550,000, though two grant programs, Senate Bill 2 and the Local Early Action Plan grants for planning efforts to reduce development bottlenecks and facilitate housing production. .