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Strong Housing Policies

Ensuring affordable housing in Oceanside has always been a high priority for me. Affordable housing includes housing for seniors, veterans, disabled, individuals, young families, first-time home buyers, working families including hotel and restaurant workers, and housing for our teachers, college students, and city and school employees.

I have worked hard with staff, property owners and affordable housing specialists to create rental and home ownership opportunities for Oceansiders. While proud of creating over 1,000 affordable housing units, including Lil Jackson Senior Community, La Mision and Mission Cove, it should have been more. Proceeds from the forced sale of the Laguna Vista Moblie Home Park leasehold, originally acquired using housing funds, were redirected elsewhere. In lieu fees were lowered to almost zero over 10 years ago, only recently changed, suggesting that the private sector would build on site affordable housing units motivated by streamlined processes, waived environmental requirements and higher densities. Very few units have in fact been created by the private sector. Even as recently as this year, the council rejected offers of partnering with affordable housing specialists to build much needed units.

We should be closer in meeting our state-mandated requirements, called "Regional Housing Needs Assessment" (RHNA). RHNA requires our city to build a total of 5,443 housing units: 1,268 very low/extremely low income; 718 low income; 883 moderate income; and 2,574 above moderate income. Lack of leadership and council policies have interfered with reaching our goals, policies that I disagreed with then and now.

That same failure to address our housing needs by past majority councils is amplified in how that majority has address our homeless issues. Over the last 3 years alone, our city's homeless population seems to have doubled and become more visible, especially downtown and in the San Luis Rey Riverbed, but also within our neighborhoods. While state and federal laws may have exasperated the situation, it does not excuse the fact that Oceanside, with the highest number of homeless individuals in the North County, has failed to create any shelters above and beyond the Women's Resource Center's shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Recent pressure by voters have forced our current council majority to finally begin addressing our affordable housing and homeless issues, but it's too little, too late, with existing failed policies. We need new Leadership, new council policies, new partnerships. We need to plan where our affordable housing, including mental health units, day centers and shelters with onsite wrap around services should be built, acquire properties, and encourage partnerships with new policies that work. We need to coordinate food recycling programs sponsored through Green Oceanside, such as Oceanside Kitchen Collaborative, to provide food to our homeless, seniors and other food insecure people and families.

As Mayor, I will ensure we have all stakeholders at the table to create new innovative policies that work, in a very public process. 

I stand for Strong Housing Policies for Oceanside. Stand with me!

Esther