Hardly a week goes by on the Central Coast without news reports on our housing crisis — the lack of sufficient supply, particularly of affordable and workforce housing.
The good news is that many of our elected leaders and the many stakeholders in this issue (all of us, really — workers, employers, educators, government officials, environmentalists and industry professionals) are coming together to effect change.
The goal of providing sufficient access to housing often generates honest and fierce disagreement about how to meet this critical need. But if you strip away the many political, environmental and policy complexities, we can agree on the moral bottom line: As a caring and compassionate society, we need to ensure there is adequate housing for ALL the members of our community, and this housing need is across a spectrum of price and type — from housing for the homeless, low-income earners, and workforce wage earners.
As a citizen who wants to make a difference, this is where you come in. The Economic Vitality Corporation, Home Builders Association and the SLO Chamber of Commerce are collaborating for the second consecutive year to bring you the SLO County Housing Summit on March 22.
The Housing Summit goal is to share the current state of housing, and explore where we need to go in the future and how to get there — and demonstrate how anyone who cares can get involved in improving our housing situation.
The Summit format will consist of four panels of experts in their fields, discussing recent housing successes, creative housing solutions, CA housing legislation and the future of housing on the Central Coast. This year’s guest speaker is Sonja Trauss, an outspoken and passionate housing advocate from San Francisco. She will describe her experiences as an advocate for housing, sharing successes she’s been part of and how members of our community can make their voices heard.
If you’re interested in learning more about housing on the Central Coast and how you can be part of the solution, please join us on March 22, from 1:00-5:30 PM, at the Embassy Suites on Madonna Road. Tickets are limited and are expected to sell out soon, so please sign up as soon as possible at https://slochamber.org/event/slo-county-housing-summit-2018/.
Andrew Hackleman is executive director of the Home Builders Association of the Central Coast; Ermina Karim is CEO of the SLO Chamber of Commerce; and Mike Manchak is president and CEO of the Economic Vitality Corporation.