For 25 years, the Sacramento Housing Alliance has worked to ensure that those living on the edges of our economy have safe, decent, healthy and affordable homes. Affordable, inclusive communities with economically-mixed housing options ensure greater opportunities and a chance to break the cycle of poverty for children in low-income families.
We know that consistent, persistent, and determined advocacy will create change.
Recently SHA has:
- Initiated a regional campaign to preserve mixed-income housing ordinances
- Found alternative funding sources in the absence of redevelopment, and
- Engaged decision-makers to implement viable solutions to creating safe, affordable and accessible housing for all.
The Affordable Housing Crisis
In Sacramento County, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,021. To afford rent and utilities without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn an annual salary of $40,840. In California, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $8. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work at least 100 hours per week, 52 weeks per year.
When is a home considered affordable?
Housing is affordable when persons or families can pay for it out of their monthly income and still have enough money left over for food, clothes, transportation and health care.
- Housing is considered affordable when rent and utility costs are no more than 30% of a household’s income. A family of four with two working parents earning minimum wage can only afford $700 in rent or mortgage payments and utilities.
- Housing costs are often much more than this, which is why development, operation and preservation of affordable housing is such a critical issue in Sacramento.
Who benefits from affordable housing?
Affordable housing offers many benefits to residents, communities and businesses.
- Residents can achieve financial stability and self-sufficiency by having more resources: food, clothing, education or savings to buy a first home.
- Communities with affordable housing units receive an array of benefits: Neighborhood Watch programs, high-quality landscaping and maintenance of buildings, as well as rehabilitation and revitalization of distressed, run-down properties.
- Large and small businesses will benefit by attracting and creating jobs that boost our local economy. People such as lenders, architects, builders, insurers, building material suppliers, construction workers, retail clerks, restaurant workers, receptionists and janitors will benefit the most.
Working families, senior citizens living on Social Security, families receiving unemployment insurance and persons with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are some of the many types of households living in affordable housing.
What are the barriers to affordable housing?
The barriers to affordable housing are:
- Increasing demand – Sacramento’s growing population is increasing the demand for housing which drives up costs. Since the demand is greater than the supply, it is difficult for low-income earners to find affordable housing in Sacramento.
- Funding and approval – Like other developments, to receive funding, all affordable housing developments must go through a lengthy and expensive application process and government approval process, which adds to the cost of development. City Council has the power to deny funding for affordable housing to be built.
- Neighborhood concerns – Affordable housing developers frequently face resistance from neighbors who do not understand affordable housing and resist it being built in their community. This opposition leads some elected officials to block affordable housing in their districts.