Monterey Bay Economic Partnership hosts Candidates Forum on Affordable Housing
I enjoyed the opportunity to share my ideas and accomplishments on affordable housing in the city of Monterey. You can watch the video and see for yourself. Mayor Clyde Roberson and Councilmember Dan Albert and myself are making progress on affordable housing and the city is on the cusp of some exciting new projects. On Garden Road we have the opportunity to convert underused commercial space to as many as 450 new units. In the spring I testified to the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District and persuaded them to allocate some additional water for affordable units at a proposed redevelopment site on Garden Road. In the East Downtown, our city council has rezoned a commercial area to make housing easier and we have approved one 18 units project with 6 affordable units. On Munras across from Trader Joes, a ten unit mixed use building is already in construction phrase and that will include 2 new affordable units. Our Specific Plans make development smoother by making it clear what the design standards are and we have seen more than 60 new apartments on Alvarado and have a new 40 unit project on North Fremont that is ready for construction soon. Finally, the council has identified four city owned lots and is seeking non-profit development partners to build 100% affordable housing on one or more of those lots.
It is important to be mindful of our quality of life and protecting our natural beauty as we add additional housing and that is why I favor focusing additional housing in commercial and transit corridors. Proximity to transit and bike paths mitigates traffic. And adding housing close to where people work also gets them out of their cars as they can avoid commuting to work. This strategy also protects the integrity of our residential neighborhoods.
I am proud to have the support of the people who build homes, the Santa Cruz/Monterey Building and Construction Trades Council, the people who live in the them--renters (thank you Monterey Peninsula Renters Unified and Monterey Bay Renters Coalition for your endorsements), and the people who sell and rent, the Monterey County Realtor's Association. Getting affordable housing built isn't easy and requires coalition building, collaboration, and team-work. Our caring Monterey city council is a good team and the progress we are making is a testament to our ability to get things done around housing.
You can watch video here and my comments are at 19:25-21:29 and 39:30-42:30 or you can compare the answers of all the candidates regarding affordable housing.