For decades, local obstructionism has prevented California from building enough homes to meet its people’s needs. This has caused fast-rising rents and home prices, longer commutes, increasing carbon emissions, displacement of disadvantaged communities, high rates of homelessness, reduced access to economic and educational opportunity, and increased segregation.
In Culver City, the consequences have been particularly severe. Our city’s boom in new employment (over 10,000 jobs added since 2016) has not been matched by housing growth (the housing stock only increased by 232 homes during the same time period). Apartments are banned on three-quarters of Culver City’s residentially-zoned land, making it difficult to add housing. As a result, the median rent has increased to over $1,800/month, with 44% of renters experiencing high housing costs.
We can’t wait any longer to fix the housing crisis. Creating more housing in Culver City, a thriving urban center with good access to jobs, transit, and public resources, benefits everyone who calls our city home. More housing means lower housing costs, greater access to good jobs and schools, less car dependence, more racially integrated neighborhoods, and a stronger economy with a growing tax base. By welcoming Californians of all backgrounds into our community, housing growth also promotes racial justice and equity.
Fortunately, Culver City has a golden opportunity to start building this future. Under state law, Culver City needs to plan for 3,333 new homes by 2029, including 1,708 that are affordable to lower-income households. Achieving this target would expand the city’s housing supply by 18%, going a long way towards relieving our housing shortage. Culver City must update the “housing element” of its general plan by October 2021, identifying sites for new development and rezoning to accommodate more homebuilding.
Of course, how we plan for housing growth is critical. Culver City’s housing element update must increase affordability, encourage transit use, improve access to jobs and economic opportunity, and ensure that people of all backgrounds and income levels can live in thriving neighborhoods. To accomplish these goals, Culver City for More Homes is advocating for a housing element update that:
Culver City needs a transformative housing element to solve its housing affordability crisis, and to create a city where everyone can thrive. The time for action on housing is now.