HOUSING NEEDS AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Affordable housing is a broad term used to describe decent, safe housing that is affordable to
individuals and families making 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI). For Contra Costa,
this means a family of four making less than $50,640.
1 Low and Moderate Income Housing Goals Not Being Met
ABAG is responsible for Contra Costa has met or exceeded its total housing production goals over the past
determining the region’s ten years, producing more than 40,000 housing units and exceeding its production
housing needs. Local
Housing Elements goals by almost 7,000 new units. While the County has exceeded its total production
incorporate housing goals, housing for low and moderate income households has been a challenge.
production goals based on During this same time period Contra Costa met only 42% of its affordable housing
the Regional Housing goals and had a deficit of 10,556 affordable units. Since 1988 there has been a
process conducted by shortage of low and very low income housing produced resulting in a greater
ABAG. percentage of low income households paying more than 30% of their monthly
income for housing.
2 Funding Constraints Limit the Production of Low Income Housing
Low income housing is There are three public housing authorities in Contra Costa: Pittsburg, Richmond,
almost exclusively the and the County, which serves both the unincorporated area and the urban county
domain of public housing
authorities and non-profit cities. The County and Richmond Housing Authorities own, lease, and manage a
developers. total of 1,712 public housing rental units for income qualified individuals and families.
In addition, there are several non-profit developers that own or manage another
1,078 low income rental units.
Very few for sale housing units are being developed in a price range that is affordable
for low and moderate income buyers. Incentives need to be provided for the private
sector to enter this segment of the housing market. In October 2006, the County
Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an inclusionary housing policy requiring
a percentage of homes in new residential developments to be affordable.
3 Assisted Housing
Local Housing Authorities Approximately 12,430 households are provided housing assistance through local
administer Federal Section Housing Authorities administering Section 8 Housing Programs. There is an
8 Housing Choice Voucher
Programs that provide rental additional need to serve another 3,000-plus households. Federal funding has not
assistance to low-income been adequate to meet the total needs in Contra Costa.
individuals and families.
4 Homeless and Housing
Contra Costa County has According to various surveys it is estimated that there are approximately 4,829
over one million residents individuals who are homeless each night in Contra Costa County. This number
and is struggling to provide
for the needs of a growing includes people living on the streets or in temporary accommodations, such as an
homeless population. emergency shelter or on a friend or relative’s couch.
The County offers four emergency shelter programs, two for families and two for
single men and women. Each of the family shelters offers seven rooms for a
maximum occupancy of 35 individuals. There are currently 280 families (with an
average of three children per family) on a waiting list for the two family shelters.
The two adult shelters have a total capacity of 160 beds (100 beds for men, 50
beds for women, and 10 beds for youth) and a waiting list of 1,277 men and 724
women. The City of Richmond operates 25 separate beds (18 beds for men and
7 beds for women) designated specifically for residents of Richmond in the County’s
San Pablo facility.
Several Non-profit organizations also offer shelter for the homeless population with
a total capacity of 260 beds.
1 Contra Costa County Has Not Met its Housing Goals for Low and Moderate Income Households
1988 to 1998 Income Income 1999 to 2005
1988-95 Projected Need 1,289 $20,000 Very Low 6,481 1999-06 RHND Allocations
1988-98 Actual Units Built 259 $34,999 (30% to 50% AMI) 669 2000-05 Actual Units Built
903 $35,000 Low 3,741
90 $49,999 (50% to 80% AMI) 342
1,289 $50,000 Moderate 8,551
2,228 $74,999 (80% to 120% AMI) 2,143
2,966 $75,000 Above Moderate 15,937
11,316 more (Above 120% AMI) 22,842
12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 AMI = Area Median Income 0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 14,000 16,000 18,000 20,000 22,000
Source: ABAG Regional Housing Needs Determination, County Housing Element
2 There are Fewer than 3,000 Units of Low Income Housing Available in Contra Costa County
NUMBER OF LOW INCOME HOUSING UNITS PROVIDED IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
Public Housing Authorities
Contra Costa County 1,168
City of Richmond 533
Non-Profit Developers - For Sale
Comm. Housing. Dev. Corp 118
of N. Richmond
Habitat for Humanity 62
Non-Profit Developers - Built &
Contra Costa Shelter, Inc. 100
Eden Housing 379
Non-Profit Developers -Managed
by 3rd Party
Contra Costa Shelter 120
Eden Housing 317
Comm. Housing Dev. Corp 162
of N. Richmond
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1,000 1,100
Sources: Housing Authority of Contra Costa County, Richmond Housing Authority, Eden Housing, Inc., Community Housing Development Corporation of North Richmond,
Habitat for Humanity, Shelter Inc.
3 25% of Struggling Households Don’t Get Help 4 Homeless Assistance is Inadequate to Meet Need
ASSISTED HOUSING PROVISION AND NEED HOMELESS ASSISTANCE FACILITIES
9,000 Pittsburg 2,117
Number of Vouchers
Number of Beds
2,000 Need 500
Assisted Housing # of Households Emergency Transitional Permanent
(Section B) on Waiting List Shelters Housing Housing
Sources: Contra Costa County Housing Authority, Richmond Housing Authority, Pittsburg
Sources: Bay Area Homeless Alliance, Contra Costa Housing Element 28
HOUSING NEEDS SPECIAL GROUPS
The housing market adequately serves those earning more than 120% of the Area Median Income
(AMI). This income bracket can generally afford to buy a market-rate home in a location that is
convenient to their place of employment. The public sector and most non-profit agencies concentrate
their efforts on households earning less than 80% of AMI. Middle-income households earning
between 80% - 120% of AMI are left to fend for themselves.
1 Supply of Entry Level Housing Not Keeping Up with Demand
Entry-level housing typically There is a lack of entry-level housing (for-sale and rental) for moderate income
targets households in the households earning between 80%-120% of the AMI. Less than 40% of the housing
60% to 100% AMI range.
Providing affordably priced stock is available to households below the median income. Most first time buyers
homes in this income range do not have sufficient income or down payments to afford conventional mortgages.
is an ambitious undertaking. Only 18.5% of the housing is in a price range below $300,000 that is affordable
Buyers have difficulty to the average worker. Generation Y which is just reaching the start of their home
saving down payments and
qualifying under conven- buying years will require a significant increase in the amount of entry-level housing
tional financing. to satisfy the needs of this large population cohort.
2 Alternative Finance Programs Critical for Entry-Level Homebuyers
Financing programs Construction of entry-level housing for first-time buyers has been rather limited
designed for first-time given the high cost of development. Very little entry-level housing (rental or for sale)
homebuyers is critical in
high cost communities. has been built. Fortunately, banks, mortgage lenders, and governmental assistance
programs have stepped in to create financing programs for first time buyers. The
California Housing Finance Agency has a number of programs available to local
residents with a list of 20 lenders and 35 offices throughout Contra Costa County.
A number of cities provide assistance and information about financing programs
for first-time buyers.
3 Majority of the Workforce Cannot Afford the Median Priced Home
Unless there is an adequate The typical worker in Contra Costa County earns less than $75,000. Almost one-
supply of affordable third (27.5%) of the households with a working age population (25-64) earn between
housing, the providers of
some of our most essential 50% and 120% of the AMI. This income group is neither poor enough to have
services - police, fire, access to assisted housing programs, nor affluent enough to afford the median
teachers, and nurses, will priced home. An elementary school teacher's or police officer's salary alone is not
be unable to live in the sufficient. Often two incomes are required to qualify for a home loan. Housing cost
community they serve.
for households in this income bracket must be between $868 and $2,085 per month
to be affordable. Less than 20% of the County’s housing stock is available in this
price range using conventional financing.
4 Housing Options for Seniors
The Baby Boom generation The number of seniors who are age 65 and older is expected to more than double
is blessed with a variety of over the next 25 years from 110,713 to 263,722. A large percentage of them
housing options as they
enter their retirement years. (29.4%) are low income. Local cities will have to deal with a growing demand for
In addition, the senior residential care facilities, home remodeling, in-law units, assisted living, age-
housing industry also restricted, and other housing options for seniors. Although there are a wide variety
provides healthcare, meals, of housing options available, ranging from independent living to skilled nursing
portation, personal care, facilities and active adult communities to congregate care, most seniors, if they can
and other support services. physically and financial afford to, would prefer to remain in their own home for as
long as possible. Transportation, housekeeping, personal care, and other support
services for in-home care of seniors will become increasingly more important over
the next several decades.
1 Less than 20% of Housing Supply is Available to Average Worker 3 Most Workers Cannot Afford a
PERCENT OF HOMES IN PRICE RANGE Home in Contra Costa
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25%
Less than $200,000 6.4% Home with
Price Range Affordable conventional
to Average Worker mortgage.
$200,000 to $299,999 12.1%
$300,000 to $399,999 18.7% Payment: $2,500
$400,000 to $499,999 19.4%
30% of Gross
$500,000 to $749,999 23.8% Monthly Income
$285,000 equals ...
$750,000 to $999,999 12.6% Home with $2,000
conventional $1,961 - Fire Fighters
$1,000,000 or more 7.0% mortgage. $1,870 - Police
Source: U. S. Census Bureau Payment:
$1,819 $1,612 - Installation/
$437,500 $1,500 $1,571 - Teachers
2 Alternative Financing Improves Affordability for First-time Buyers alternative $1,372 - Production
House Monthly Monthly
Income Financing Price Mortgage Amount Payment Payment: $1,293 - Nurses
60% AMI Conventional $204,000 $163,250 $1,042
Median Conventional $331,500 $265,200 $1,695
Median Alternative $437,500 $350,000 $1,687 Drivers
Median Priced Home $575,000 $460,000 $2,935
Source: Craft Consulting Group analysis Source: California
4 There is a Growing Demand and Wide Variety of Options for Senior Housing
780 Solano Co.
tra Costa Co.
4 Martinez 680
El Sobrante Pleasant
355 Hill Concord
County El Cerrito
Walnut Creek East County Discovery Bay
Contra Costa County
Berkeley Central County
0 5 10 Miles
Assisted Residential 24
Living Care Oakland Danville
Units Units Contra Co
Alameda C o.
eda 280 Alam
e da C
San Francisco Bay 580
SOURCE: California Registry Housing and Health Care Database