By Marty Kovacs
It’s time to face the stark reality: Housing is unaffordable throughout Greater Los Angeles for the people this we rely on the most — administrative support staff, police, fire, paramedics, teachers, nurses, construction workers, and many middle class workers.
The “Housing Our Workers” – H.O.W. – forum set for Wednesday, Feb. 8, is a step toward a solution.
More than understanding how today’s housing shortage occurred, participants will detail how their organization or community group can make a significant commitment to increase the supply of housing for workers.
The goal of the forum is to go even farther — How will each participant commit to educate, motivate and activate a solution, a plan to increase housing for all workers?
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors, representing 9,600 local real estate professionals, the BizFed Institute, representing thousands of major employers throughout Los Angeles County, and the Valley Economic Alliance are hosting the H.O.W. forum.
Participants will be representatives of workers, neighborhood advocates, home builders, elected policy makers, social service agencies, the Federal National Mortgage Association, better known as Fannie Mae, and financial institutions.
The ultimate aim is to craft a unified solution to an enormous problem that confronts and impacts Los Angeles and many metropolitan areas nationwide.
Individual workers will detail how a lack of housing affects their lives and their families, and how long, stressful commutes from home to the workplace strain families’ physical and mental health.
The median price of a single-family home in the San Fernando Valley stands at $575,000, a price that most families simply cannot afford, which means they cannot live in the community in which they work. The solution would be to build more housing at every price point. But that’s complicated, and will require coordinated effort of often competing interest groups. Obviously, the city is at an impasse.
Are you willing to be part of the solution? The forum will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Airtel Plaza Hotel, located at 7277 Valjean Ave., Van Nuys. Reserve a seat now by emailing your name and contact information to [email protected].
Marty Kovacs is the 2017 Chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the 9,500-member Southland Regional Association of Realtors. David Walker, of Walker Associates, co-authors articles for SRAR. The column represents SRAR’s views and not necessarily those of The Signal. The column contains general information about the real estate market and is not intended to replace advice from your Realtor or other realty related professionals.