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Where is there a home for me?

City Councilman’s column
By: Stan Nader
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Where is there a home for me?

That is a question many residents of California are asking their community leaders. The inventory of houses to purchase or rent is very low.  

California needs 180,000 homes built each year to meet the demand for a place to live. The home building industry is only constructing 80,000 homes a year, far short of the need.  

For Lincoln, the apartments in the city have long waiting lists and it is difficult for families to find a house they can afford to buy.

In 2012, the median price for a home in Lincoln was $235,000. Currently, the median price is $430,000. For the median apartment rental rate, it has increased from $1,200 a month in 2012 to currently $1,600 a month. 

According to affordablehousingonline.com, more than 50 percent of Lincoln residents are overburdened by their housing costs. This means they are spending more than 30 percent of their disposable income on house payments or rent. 

In many cases, those in the lower-income bracket are spending 50 percent of their disposable income on housing costs. Sometimes, that makes it a difficult choice whether to pay the rent or purchase food or pay for medical expenses.

The impact of the above statistics on Lincoln families should be an important area of concern for the elected officials in our city. The city is obviously not responsible to build housing that is affordable to its residents but the city is responsible to facilitate and encourage the construction of places its citizens can afford to buy or rent.

In conversations with city staff, they indicate that there would be greater likelihood that affordable housing would be built if the city modified some of its ordinances.

If this is an issue that is concerning to you, please contact the Lincoln City Council members and encourage them to support changes to our existing ordinances to increase the possibility that Lincoln will have affordable places for its citizens to live.

Stan Nader is a Lincoln City Councilman.