Minutes from February 27, 2018 Open Board Meeting-SCAG Report on Housing

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
 Open Board of Directors Meeting
1601 E. Third St., Suite 138
San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present: Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Ann Bryan, Ken Coate, Sandra Cuellar, Kevin Dyerly, Scott Hofferber, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, P.T. McEwen, John Mirau, Roman Nava, Kevin Porter, Brian Reider, Michael Rivera, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, David VanVoorhis, Steve von Rajcs and Ray Wolfe.

Guests: Abigail Arreola, Adam Eventov, Matt Kane and Arnold San Miguel.

Announcements:  1) Committees were reminded that their position papers for Sacramento are due today.  2) The new member lunch last week held at Wells Fargo in Ontario was well attended.  Appreciation was expressed to Louis Goodwin who offered his location.

The Inland Action Economic Development Committee has suggested a letter of support for the San Manuel Band of Indians hotel, casino and parking expansion.  The project will create an estimated 1,400 construction jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs.  Discussion ensued.
M/S/P: A letter of support for the San Manuel Band of Indians hotel, casino and parking expansion will be sent.

M/S/P: Minutes from February 13, 2018.

Ray Wolfe introduced Ma’Ayn Johnson, Housing Project Manager, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).

SCAG is the nation’s largest Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) representing 191 cities in 6 counties that have 18.9 million residents.  SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to encourage a more sustainable Southern California.

The housing crisis in California has been decades in the making and is due to a combination of both a housing shortage and a lack of affordability. SCAG’s Role in Regional Housing Planning:

  • Regional Housing Need Assessment (RHNA)- The Regional Housing Needs Assessment is a state-mandated planning effort conducted by SCAG. It is completed every eight years and serves as the starting point for the local housing element update process. SCAG, along with its sub-regions, determines each jurisdiction’s “fair share” of the region’s housing need. Local governments, in turn, plan to accommodate that housing need by preparing individual housing elements.
  • Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS)
    Toolbox and Best Practices
  • Technical Support for Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Strategy (aka “Cap and Trade”)
  • Facilitation of local stakeholder meetings and workshops

Residential building has not been keeping pace with our population.  Building permits have dropped from 1 unit per 1.74 persons in the 1970’s-1980’s to one unit per 3.36 persons in 2016. Causes of the housing crisis include the high cost of land, construction costs, unpredictable discretionary permitting process, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and a lack of affordable housing funding for developers, builders, and cities.

Substandard housing conditions, such as overcrowding, can lead to or exacerbate health and behavioral problems in children and adults.  These problems range from increased risk for asthma and poorer school performance in children to obesity and stress-related behavioral problems in adults.

Economic Impacts
The high housing costs also impact wider economic growth and are an increasing factor in decision-making for employers.  Several major employers are leaving the State or reducing operations, citing the lack of housing for their employees as one of the top reasons for leaving.
Cost of Not Housing
The higher the housing cost the lower the amount a family can use toward other purposes.  This can impact future savings especially for those close to poverty.  High housing costs also mean less money that could be spent on local business, personal health or recreation.
Outmigration and Loss of Young Talent
Due to stagnant wages or difficulties finding a secure entry-level or mid-level job, and rising costs in rent, millennials represent over half of the outmigration from the most expensive metro areas despite representing only a quarter of the population.

Recently proposed housing legislation was discussed:
SB 827 (Wiener): “Transit Density Bonus”
-Projects within ½ mile of major transit stop or ¼ mile of TPA
-Exemption from maximum density, FAR, or design standards
-Exemption from minimum parking requirements

SB 828 (Wiener): Changes to RHNA Methodology
-Inclusion of unmet need and high-income growth in RHNA methodology
-Challenge to COG methodology from HCD|
-Planning for 200% of housing need

Accessory Dwelling Units, or “Granny Flats”
-Source of affordable housing
-Zoning code allowance
-SB 831 would remove additional barriers

AB 1759 (McCarty): Transportation funds and housing production
-Ties SB 1 transportation funds to housing production
-Threshold percentages increase every 5 years
-Funding held in escrow until jurisdiction meets threshold percentage

A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:23 a.m.