Hemet is one of several communities in Riverside County, California. The city is largely a retirement community dominated by "empty nesters" and retirees who are not part of the area labor force.
In 1995 Hemet will have nearly $569,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds to maintain its affordable housing stock and to preserve its neighborhoods. Some key projects for the year include making public facilities more accessible, improving Harvard Street, and improving services for the homeless, youth, and the elderly.
On January 10, 1995, and on January 24, 1995, Hemet held informal meetings in City Council Chambers to give citizens the opportunity to offer input on the Consolidated Plan. City staff attended both meetings to answer questions, provide a program overview, and assist in application development. A Notice of Public Hearing and a Statement of Proposed Use of Funds were published in local newspapers, notifying the public of the proposed project selections and inviting comments at public hearings scheduled for March and April 1995. During a 30-day comment period, citizens could review copies of the plan at the city's Housing Department, the local public library, and the Simpson Center. Also, a City of Hemet Community Development Block Grant Program Citizen Participation Information Booklet was prepared and made available to all interest persons.
At the time of the 1990 census, the city's population had almost doubled to 36,094. More than 17,000 households live in Hemet, containing an average of 2.25 persons per household. Because the city is a popular seasonal residence, the population can increase by nearly 25 percent during the winter months. Since the 1990 census the City's population has increased to about 52,000 due to annexation activities.
Although Hemet is mostly a retirement community, 46 percent of the employed population work in the retail and service sectors. Another 21 percent work in construction and manufacturing. The remaining 33 percent work at the professional or administrative level. Most Hemet residents work less than 15 miles from their homes, and the majority work within Riverside County.
The median age in Hemet (56.8 years) is nearly twice that of Riverside County (31.5 years). As of 1990 minority groups represented a small portion (almost 2 percent) of the population. The median household income is $23,316. In 1990, 30 percent of all households were considered low-income, meaning their incomes were 50 percent or less of the median family income (MFI).
The local economy is primarily based on trade, service, and agriculture, and is predominately geared to the needs of retired citizens with above-average incomes. Population trends suggest that although Hemet will continue to grow during the next 10 year, surrounding communities will grow much faster because they will have better access to the regional transportation network.
The city's employment base is expected to erode temporarily as some commercial and industrial firms relocate to areas within the I-215 corridor. This short-term trend will continue until underutilized and vacant employment-generating land within the city is developed.
Hemet is generally perceived as a preferred retirement community, with a range of housing types available at reasonable prices. The average price for a single-family home with two bedrooms is about $75,000; a home with three bedrooms is about $118,000; and a home with four or more bedrooms is about $160,000. The median rental price for a new single- family home is $650 per month, with each additional bedroom costing an extra $100, while an older single-family home rents for about $500 per month, with each additional bedroom costing an extra $100. A duplex or two-bedroom apartment rents for about $400 per month, with each additional bedroom costing an extra $100.
The city's vacancy rate is about 11 percent, which is considerably high. However, seasonal residents account for many of the vacancies. Since 1980 the vacancy rate has fluctuated between 9 and 13 percent.
Of the 17,397 total housing units in Hemet, about 452 would be classified as substandard or unsound. The greatest number of units needing rehabilitation are in transition areas where single-family homes are changing into multifamily dwellings or commercial properties. Because of a low vacancy rate and a projected population increase, these substandard units must be recycled and rehabilitated.
Low-income households have the most difficulty finding suitable affordable housing. About 66 percent of this group pay more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing expenses, and 49 percent pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing. Moderate- income households, who earn 51-80 percent of MFI, also have difficulty finding suitable affordable housing. Problems faced by the 4,254 moderate-income households include overcrowding, substandard housing, and an inability to purchase a home.
The number of homeless people in the county is growing. Rising construction costs, high unemployment, and other economic factors contribute to this trend. Deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill and growing substance abuse also add to the problem. The exact number of homeless individuals and families in Hemet is not known. However, in 1994 Valley Restart Shelter provided 18,798 shelter bed nights and 20,680 evening meals, and in 1992 the shelter opened a transition house for single women and women with children. Currently, the shelter is searching for a permanent location to establish sleeping quarters that can accommodate 25-30 people. Although the shelter is meeting the needs of the homeless, additional facilities will be needed as the number of homeless people increases.
Homeless persons, both sheltered and unsheltered, need permanent affordable housing and supplemental services, such as subsidized child care, housing assistance, and employment training. The city will work with area homeless service providers to increase regional shelters, transitional housing, and support services that the growing numbers of homeless people will require.
Hemet does not have any public housing units. The Housing Authority of the County of Riverside administers the city's Section 8 Rental Assistance program, which provides rental assistance to 260 families.
By law, California must provide housing programs for all economic segments of the community that cannot access the funds necessary to maintain such programs. Other government constraints include the Tax Reform Act of 1986, environmental review requirements, permit requirements, historical renovation requirements for buildings on the National or State Historical Register, and lead-based paint requirements.
Development standards sometimes add to the problem of affordable housing. The constraints with the greatest impact are those contained in the city's zoning ordinance. In order to reflect the community's development goals and objectives, zoning regulates the use, density, floor area, setbacks, parking, and mix of all residential, commercial, and industrial projects. Zoning reduces the supply of land available for residential development and regulates the intensity of residential land use through minimum lot size requirements. Although zoning can be a constraint, it is designed to create residential projects and areas that are functional and aesthetic.
Hemet affirms the need for fair housing and will prepare an analysis of the impediments to fair housing.
Although no accurate information about the incidence of lead-based paint exists, the city realizes that lead-based paint poses a serious health threat and must be addressed. Actions that will minimize the incidence of lead paint poisoning include the following:
An estimated 24 percent of all city households include a disabled person. The housing needs of handicapped persons are generally related to affordability and physical access. Depending on the disability, these needs may include access to fixtures within the house. The needs of the handicapped may also reflect some of the needs among the elderly, who may experience mobility problems.
Although Riverside County has a large population of farm workers, the 1990 census reported that Hemet had only 41 migrants and 8 farmers working in agricultural related industries. The city does recognize farm workers and the special housing problems that these households face.
Some of the community development needs identified include: flood drain and sidewalk improvements; services for senior citizens, the handicapped, and youth; accessible public facilities; commercial-industrial rehabilitation; infrastructure improvements; and code enforcement.
One of Hemet's general housing goals is to attain decent housing and living environments for households from all socioeconomic, age, and ethnic groups. Another goal is to provide various housing opportunities for all sizes of households. The city would also like to balance its residential environment with community facilities, adequate services, and access to employment opportunities.
Based on all available information, the city has determined the overall needs of the community and has formulated them into goals and strategies. Some of these goals include the following:
The city will continue to support those organizations and groups that provide goods and services to low-income, moderate-income, and homeless individuals. These city-supported organizations include: Valley Restart Shelter for the Homeless, the City's Literacy Program, the La Vista Alcoholism Recovery Center, Alternatives to Domestic Violence, Senior Day Care Center, and the Valley Teen Project.
To expand the job base and provide employment opportunities for its citizens, Hemet has created a new department to initiate programs that retain existing business and industry while attracting new business and industry.
Although the funding resources available for meeting affordable housing needs are limited, Hemet can access any number and type of potential funding sources. Contributors to the resource pool include: government agencies at the Federal, State, and local levels; private organizations, such as lending institutions, foundations, businesses, and developers; and nonprofit organizations, such as housing corporations and social service agencies.
The city's Department of Community Development is responsible for implementing the housing components of the Consolidated Plan. However, the city must establish effective relationships with community leaders and local lenders to coordinate better provision of affordable housing opportunities.
Consolidated Plan initiatives for 1995 include:
Most Consolidated Plan projects in 1995 will benefit residents citywide, even when funds are targeted to specific locations.
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).