The City of Salinas is located in a major agricultural area, surrounded by some of the most productive agricultural lands in the country. Because of long-standing policies to preserve this prime agricultural land which limits land resources and the City's proximity to the scenic Monterey Bay area and the Silicon Valley technology center, the Salinas area is one of the more expensive housing markets in California. The City of Salinas's economy is predominantly agriculturally-oriented, with relative low-skilled, low-paying jobs. The City is endeavoring to attract more light industrial firms to the area to provide new and higher- paying jobs. Additionally, the City recognizes the need for affordable housing and has taken the lead in implementing activities to further this goal.
The City of Salinas Consolidated Plan incudes a One-Year Action Plan for allocating approximately $4.1 million in Community Development Block Grant funds and $711,000 in HOME Investment Partnerships funds for fiscal year 1995-96. The funds will be spent primarily on affordable housing and youth/anti-gang prevention activities.
Development of the draft Consolidated Plan involved an ongoing citizen participation process involving citizens, non-profit organizations, the Housing Authority, social services agencies and homeless providers. Three outreach meetings, including a publicly noticed "Needs Assessment", were conducted as well as a public hearing on the Citizen Participation Plan. Additionally, City staff presented an overview of the Plan to the Housing Authority of Monterey County along with other non-profit organizations for consultation purposes. Also, the Monterey County Health Department and Social Services Department were consulted by City staff to obtain comments on lead-based paint and lead poisoning. All comments received were incorporated into the draft Consolidated Plan.
Three public hearings were held to provide citizens and organizations
opportunities to provide input and comment on the City's Consolidated Plan. The
first public hearing was held December 7, 1994, prior to the development of the
Consolidated Plan; the second and third hearings were held May 2 and May 9, 1995
after the plan had been drafted and noticed in the newspaper for a 30-day public
comment period. It was at the second hearing that the proposed use of FY
1995-96 funds for Community Development Block Grant and HOME were presented,
discussed and allocated. The third hearing provided another opportunity for
citizens and organizations to comment further on the Plan and allocation of the
FY 1995-96 funding. The Consolidated Plan was adopted at the May 9th hearing.
During the ten years between the 1980 and 1990 Census, the population of Salinas has increased by 35%. Currently, the City's population is 51% Hispanic, 39% White, 7% Asian, 2% African-American, and 1% Native American. The total minority/ethnic population represents 61% of the City's entire population. A comparison of Salinas' total minority/ethnic population against the total minority populations for each census tract, indicates that six census tracts out of the City's twenty-one tracts are considered to be areas of minority/ethnic concentration. These census tracts are located in East Salinas and range from 56% to 88% low income. The populations within these census tracts are subject to conditions such as overcrowded housing, little open space, and increasing crime and violence. To ameliorate these conditions, the City has targeted various public services and housing activities within these areas.
The 1990 census indicates that 49.85% of Salinas's population is of low and
moderate income. This makes it very difficult for a significant portion of the
population to obtain affordable housing. Most low and very low income renter
households are paying large portions of their incomes for housing and often
living in substandard dwelling units. Additionally, household sizes in Salinas
have increased significantly, especially those with children under 18 years of
age. This places a demand for multiple bedroom housing units affordable to
lower income families.
The Housing and Community Development Needs Assessment describes the estimated housing needs and supportive services required for the various categories of owner, renter and homeless households. Also noted are estimated non-housing community development needs, including social services, for the various segments of the population.
Agriculture and accompanying service industries are the top employers in Salinas. A large part of the agricultural jobs are low-skilled and low-paying resulting in low income households. Population figures reflect an increase of 35% from 1980 to 1990 with household sizes increasing significantly, especially those with young children. Salinas had an annual figure for 1994 of 15.5% unemployment as compared with an annual 11.9% unemployment in Monterey County. Currently, Salinas is experiencing an increase in housing construction, with approximately 150 units of low income housing newly constructed.
The City of Salinas' Consolidated Plan provides an assessment of the community's housing needs as summarized below:
The 1990 Census indicated 34,577 year round housing units of which 33,360 were occupied (17,930 renters and 15,430 owners) with a vacancy rate of 2.58% in rental units and 2.99% in housing units. The Census also showed an increase of overcrowded units in Salinas of 7,440 units of which 4,567 units are severely overcrowded. Additionally, one- third of the existing housing units in the City are believed to be of substandard quality. Approximately 9,700 units in Salinas have rehabilitation needs with the majority needing major rehabilitation.
However, from 1993-1995 new housing construction has increased. The City's inclusionary housing policies resulted in 100 units of multi-family rental housing for households earning 60% and below of the area median income constructed during the period by a non-profit housing corporation. Approximately 200 additional units are planned and should begin construction soon.
High prices for residential units prevent most low income families from purchasing homes in the Salinas area. Factors influencing high housing costs, include the geographical setting in close proximity to the Monterey-Carmel area and the region's agricultural preservation policies which significantly inhibit the City's growth and has resulted in a very compact, densely developed community with very few opportunities for in-fill developments.
Household Income affects the ownership of affordable housing with 60.3% of all households in Salinas earning 80% or below median family income renting as opposed to 39.7% of the households earning 81% or above median family income. Only 30.3% of the low income households are homeowners as compared to 69.7% of homeowners that are earning 81% or above median family income.
Census data indicates that large family households at 50% or below the area median income have the greatest cost burden with smaller size households next in line. To this end, the City of Salinas' priorities are: to increase the supply of rental housing, especially large family rentals; to support home ownership for low income families; to preserve and rehabilitate existing affordable housing; and, to increase supply of housing for seasonal agricultural employees
There is a need for additional shelter facilities and services for the homeless. It is estimated 614 homeless persons reside in Salinas. This represents approximately half the number estimated for the County as a whole and .006% of Salinas' population. Studies indicate that 80% of the homeless are single with 20% of the homeless adult females. There is a need for additional shelters for single females and families; transitional housing, and more shelter capacity for the winter season is needed for homeless single males. Currently, within the City of Salinas, there is one 35-45 bed facility for homeless women and children, a seasonal (winter months) overnight emergency shelter for twenty homeless males, and a daytime drop-in homeless center.
The Housing Authority of Monterey County has 658 existing units located within the City of Salinas, with an additional 100 units of multi-family rental housing soon to be built in the Rossi-Rico area of Salinas for a future total of 758 units. The units range from fair to excellent condition, with the majority in good condition or better.
The demand for federal assisted housing remains very large. The wait for most units is about three years, and longer for four bedroom units. As of March, 1995, there were 3,149 Salinas households on the Housing Authority's waiting list. Approximately 1,555 low income Salinas families receive housing subsidies through Section 8 vouchers and certificates from the Housing Authority.
Service providers for populations with special needs indicate the following housing is needed:
Lack of land is a significant factor in the barrier to affordable housing in Salinas as preservation of agricultural lands has long been a priority for the region and for the City of Salinas. This has tended to drive the cost of housing up due the increased costs of infrastructure and the diminished amount of land available for development. Through its General Plan, the City has directed its growth away from the more fertile agricultural lands to the south and southwest. The City also has adopted a General Plan policy that all new growth areas prepare a Precise Plan, which incorporates an Affordable Housing Plan to ensure that, as land becomes available for development, sufficient land is committed to residential use with a range of densities to provide housing opportunities for all of the City's residents. Additionally, the City adopted inclusionary housing requirements which require that twelve percent (12%) of all new housing be affordable to low income households. The City also adopted density bonus regulations to encourage and provide an incentive for the development of affordable housing.
Other obstacles to housing include the need of long term water supplies for both domestic consumption and for agricultural production and saltwater intrusion due to overdrafting of the aquifers. The City of Salinas has implemented water conservation policies which require the use of drought resistant landscaping materials, the use of low flow plumbing fixtures and the retrofitting of existing units with water saving devices as new units are developed.
Additionally, zoning regulations have been streamlined to eliminate many of the perceived barriers to affordable housing. The new code establishes zoning districts with specific standards to assure a sites development potential and dramatically streamlined the development review and approval process by moving from conditionally permitted development to permitted use development without the necessity of a long and expensive public hearing process.
Impact and development fees account for between six and nine percent (6%-9%) of the value of residential development depending on housing style (detached single family or multi-family development). The City of Salinas is sensitive to the effects of these fees on housing affordability and, therefore, ensures that the fees are as low as possible to cover the actual cost to provide the service, the public facility or to mitigate specific environmental conditions.
The Fair Housing regulations are directed at preventing or mitigating the effects of discrimination in housing based on a variety of personal or social characteristics that are used to unfairly deny people or households with those characteristics access to housing. These characteristics include racial or ethnic background, family or household size, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, and source of income.
The physically handicapped experience housing problems due to the shortage of affordable housing and because of the design of most conventional housing. Many disabled individuals are unable to afford suitable housing due to fixed incomes, and in some cases, experience diminished employment capacity. Housing needs unique to these populations include handicapped accessibility and accommodations for deaf or blind individuals.
The City of Salinas will be undertaking the HUD-required analysis of impediments to fair housing and will present the findings in order to affirmatively further Fair Housing practices with the City in early 1996.
Approximately twenty-one percent of the City's housing stock or 7,508 units contains some lead-based paint. The Monterey County Health Department records indicate that between August 1992 and June 1994, 14 cases of childhood lead poisoning were from Salinas. Suspected sources of lead poisoning included traditional medicines, ceramic ware and pottery, crayons, and recent home renovation. Additionally, the Health Department indicated that several of the children were most likely exposed while living in Mexico.
Reducing violence and crime is the community's main priority as the City of Salinas has seen, over the past few years, an increase in crime and gang violence. To this end, such activities as gang prevention programs/activities for "at-risk" youth, neighborhood empowerment/revitalization, increasing access to public and private facilities and services, and economic development are needed.
The City will continue to work with the non-profit organizations, the
Housing Authority, social service agencies, homeless providers, the
Redevelopment Agency and others as it implements its Consolidated Plan.
The City developed its housing and non-housing goals by weighing the severity of needs for assistance among all groups and subgroups of the population, along with an analysis of its housing stock and market conditions, the housing needs of its very low and low income households and its assessment of resources available. Increasing affordable housing opportunities for low income households is a main objective in the City's housing strategies. Community development objectives are reduction of crime and violence and improvement of safety and livability in the City's neighborhoods, revitalization of the downtown commercial area, and the provision of homeless prevention programs.
The City of Salinas has determined levels of priority (high, medium, low) regarding affordable housing in order to allocate funding where it is most needed.
High Priorities include: Large family rental housing for low and very low income households, including farmworkers; First Time Homebuyers program for low and moderate income (<80%) households; and, Existing Homeowners rehabilitation assistance for low and moderate income (<80%) households.
Medium Priorities include: Elderly, Small Related, and All Other Rental Housing, i.e. single room occupancy, studio and one bedroom housing projects; and, Homeless Persons including Individuals and families, i.e. shelters, transitional housing units.
Low Priorities include: Non-Homeless Persons with Special Needs including the elderly, frail elderly, persons with disabilities (mental, physical, developmental), persons with alcohol or other drug addiction, and persons diagnosed with AIDS and related diseases.
Services for "at-risk" youth in Salinas (5-18yrs.), were determined to be a high priority in the City of Salinas. The City is providing financial assistance in support of public services and facilities for youth. Public Services provided include: after school programs, bicultural workshops in the visual arts, drama, music and dance, violence intervention and prevention programs, sports and recreational programs. Public facilities supported include: the Breadbox Recreation Center and the Firehouse Rec Center; and, funding support for the construction of a facility be used as an activity center for low income youth operated by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Salinas Valley.
The revitalization of Central Salinas and various neighborhood and commercial areas, in East Salinas, is also one of the City's main non-housing priorities. Many businesses relocated out of the central downtown area to large shopping malls in North Salinas. The City's focus has been to attract different types of business along with a proposed Steinbeck Center, a cultural facility, dedicated to the works of John Steinbeck. The Center will also promote diverse and multi-ethnic programs in the arts and humanities. Additionally, East Salinas (annexed into the City in 1963) has been a long-term priority with regard to the upgrading of infrastructure, eg. streets, sidewalks, parks, etc. Also, East Salinas neighborhoods and businesses have focused on two objectives for the area: 1) to revitalize the major commercial strips in the area: and, 2) to strengthen the existing neighborhoods and upgrade the stock of affordable housing.
Assisting in homeless prevention services to individuals and families at-risk of becoming homeless is another non-housing priority for the City of Salinas. The City supports such activities as: supplying food to lower income persons and households who are not receiving food assistance; a security deposit program; an emergency over-night lodging program; and, a daytime drop-in center for the homeless;
Priorities for other community development needs include public services (a home meal delivery program; an independent living program for the disabled; dispute mediation services; child abuse prevention program); public facilities (parks, youth and recreation centers); modifications to public facilities for accessibility to the disabled; and various public improvements (street, lights, and street trees).
The City of Salinas' goals to assist in reducing the number of households with incomes below the poverty level are: to increase the number of affordable rental housing units available to cost-burdened households; to provide, through non-profit organizations, supportive services designed to assist individuals and families to remain in their homes; economic opportunities for residents within low income areas and increase affordable housing opportunities outside of low income areas; to provide employment opportunities for low income people.
A varied mix of resources provide funding for the City's housing and community development activities. Federal resources include HOME, CDBG, Section 8, public housing, Emergency Shelter Grants, and Shelter Plus Care. State resources include redevelopment agency funds, low income housing tax credits and BEGIN (HOME) funds. Private resources include local lending institutions' affordable housing programs, private foundations, and a variety of non-profit organizations.
The City will enhance coordination between public and assisted housing
providers and private non-profit organizations and private industry to address
housing and community development needs noted in the Consolidated Plan. The
City's goal, in this regard, is to reduce the duplicity of services and assist
in focusing resources for the greatest effect among the low income population.
Additionally, efforts to coordinate with local, state and federal governments
are discussed in the Coordinated Efforts and Support Statement.
The Action Plan describes the activities the City will undertake during the fiscal year to address the priority needs and local objectives identified in the Housing and Community Development Strategy. The Plan allocates the proposed use of $4.8 million in funding from two formula grant programs (CDBG & HOME), funds reprogrammed through "program income", and funds carried over from the previous fiscal year.
Some of the funded projects include:
Approximately 85% of CDBG and HOME funding is allocated to projects in targeted low income census tracts. Such projects include youth services, public facilities and improvements, housing rehabilitation and homeownership. The remaining 15% of funding is allocated towards services and projects city-wide with low income documentation kept.
The City of Salinas' housing goals for FY 1995-96 are to provide homeownership opportunities for sixteen low income families; increasing the supply of affordable housing through new construction of approximately 48 multi-family rental units; upgrading the existing affordable housing stock through 25 housing rehabilitation loans; providing security deposit assistance to 45 low income households; assisting 20 homeless persons nightly with emergency lodging through the winter months; providing daytime homeless shelter to 1,900 homeless; and providing overnight shelter/supportive services for the homeless through rehabilitation.
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 low-moderate income areas and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 depicts Hispanic concentration levels and proposed HUD funded projects for one neighborhood.