In spring 2019, I went home for break to find construction tarps in my parents’ house and for sale signs on every other lawn in my neighborhood. Initially, I thought my parents were selling their home since the cost of living in Santa Clarita has increased tremendously. Luckily, they decided to refinance their house to renovate and boost our home price. Unluckily, my parents were explaining to me that people are selling their homes and moving out of state since the cost of living in Santa Clarita has spiked as the years progressed. It never occurred to me how influential the cost of living was until I helped my hometown best friend pack up his house and move out of a place he and I shared childhood memories in. Coincidentally, the Regional Housing Needs Assessment for 2021 was finalized on July 1, which utterly surprised me since the effects of this assessment could have potentially emplaced policy that built affordable houses during the 5th Cycle RHNA Allocation Plan.
Fortunately, the city of Santa Clarita is taking steps in the right direction by helping out those who are in dire need of affordable housing since Santa Clarita has received a final allocation of 10,031 new housing units for the 6th Cycle RHNA Allocation period.
While living in Santa Clarita, I was sheltered in a utopian-style bubble where everyone had parents with a steady 9-5 job and income that covered living in a perfect suburbia. However, when looking at home prices I was astonished to see prices have increased from an average of $468,500 in January 2017 to a median sale price of $712,500 in October. Obviously, with trends like this, the population of Santa Clarita will be consisting of the rich and probably more homeless people. Taking the finalized 6th Cycle RHNA Allocation Plan into account provides positive solutions in creating more affordable housing and ultimately stands as policy to help combat the homelessness epidemic. The Santa Clarita General Plan encompasses a variety of beneficial prerequisite policies that rehabilitate the problem of unaffordable housing. For example, the One Valley One Vision planning process serves as a gateway for more positive outcomes from the housing crisis in Santa Clarita. The plan has helped develop more infrastructure in areas such as Happy Valley and implements scaffolding for further housing development.
In the past, Santa Clarita has not overlooked the creation of more affordable housing. With data showing a total of 4,276 overcrowded homes and a homeless population of 238, a solution of affordable housing developed after the implementation of Assembly Bill 987 in Santa Clarita: the Three Oaks multi-dwelling unit. Units like Three Oaks need to be developed in more densely populated areas such as Golden Valley, Canyon Country and Newhall. Affordable housing in densely populated areas opens more doors of opportunity for those with lower income. Ultimately, the goal of affordable housing has inspired many beneficial trends to the population of Santa Clarita by establishing different programs such as affordable rental housing, home purchase programs, housing services and other housing options.
This trend has produced advantageous housing outcomes to those struggling in a high-cost living area. Renting, purchasing condos, or even living in a mobile home are all better solutions than moving out of state or living in a homeless shelter.
Additionally, Santa Clarita’s past housing production includes various major development projects. For years the properties included under “Development Projects Currently Under Construction” have always piqued my interest since it has created more jobs and more housing within the city. Although the City Council has already made strides towards developing affordable housing, there is always room for more. The mission for the City Council should continue to develop land for affordable housing to provide more living spaces for the growing population.
The finalized 6th Cycle RHNA Allocation Plan provides the city with more inspiration to expand housing development. It helps demonstrate that more people are inclined to settle down in Santa Clarita since it’s a commuter city.