I wanted to take a minute to piggy back on the post I wrote last week regarding the paltry recovery rate in district 5 from the CZU Fire. If you didn’t see it, even though our district lost over six hundred homes in the fire only six homes have been rebuilt.
That is less than a 1% recovery after three years. Its sobering and humbling data as a fire survivor who has made progress in rebuilding their home.On the surface, it may seem that this only affects those who lost their home. But the lack of rebuilt homes is not in a vacuum.
It is feeding other issues that effect everyone, all the way from Scotts Valley to Boulder Creek. And one of those issues is the cost of housing. The cost of homes is in equal proportion to the amount of inventory. When the county stands in the way of people rebuilding , remember only six of over six hundred homes have been rebuilt, they are making the cost of housing even worse than it is. At a time where homelessness is at an all time high in this county, it is an unconscionable act.
One of the main reasons there is so much obstruction is the no growth policies that were put in place in the eighties in the planning department. The county did not want to become the bedroom community of San Jose. But those policies are putting a strangle hold on our communities and no longer serve us. No growth is zero growth. It’s negative growth, as older homes and lost homes can’t be replaced without great difficulty. Its created a situation in SLV specifically where people do work on their homes with no permits–simply because they are afraid of the county, what they will require, how much it’ll cost and the risk of having them present on their property. The county states they have all these measures in place for safety, but how is making people homeless safer? How is people working on their homes without permits safer?
In turn, this also makes the cost of rentals sky high. A working family has a very difficult time paying the rental prices in our county, and the lack of inventory is not helping.
Like any community, we need to have continuity. We need opportunities for our children to work and stay here in the community that they love. If rental prices aren’t affordable, if there are no options for folks with low income, then folks who are just starting out will have to leave. Folks who are on fixed incomes may face the same. We could end up losing the future of our community, and the long memory of our community as well, as the most vulnerable are displaced by these horrifying prices. The ADU measure is a good start, but it’s a Band-Aid on a stab wound. We’ve got to think bigger.When we have fewer community members, we have less children in the schools. We have less revenue for our local businesses whose taxes pay our fire departments. The ripple effect is wide.
Mountain people deserve to exist. We don’t live in a park, we live in communities with our friends and families. Please watch my latest video where I go into more detail about these ramifications. Share and like if it compels you. I am eager to get to work on all of these issues as your supervisor.Join me. Together we can do this.