Affordable Housing is a global crisis that exists in many levels of government. For my project, I specifically looked into the current status of Affordable Housing in Monterey County and the various advocacy implementations that have been established. Despite my research's concentration is in one populated county, I strongly believe that the struggles faced by the locals are universally relatable. They are all suffering under the same roof.
My research declares that there is still a major gap in achieving reasonable housing costs. In spite of the local folks taking on multiple jobs, they still see the same consequence, unable to afford adequate housing. Residents are forced to settle elsewhere and commute far.
The main groups that are being impacted by this issue are low-income, disabled, and elderly. Housing instability has been proven to have long term health effects on children. This includes developmental delays, risk of depression, asthma, and emotional or behavior problems. As for adults, there can be postponements of needed health care or medication, sleeping problems, higher risk for depression, and mental distress. This issue has driven seniors to choose between paying for their prescriptions or rent and many families have been removed from their homes.
Riley Kolendra, an ex-local Salinas resident shared how his family had a difficult time finding housing near his school and ended up moving to Oakhurst, California. Riley stated how the move caused enormous distress on his mother that caused a lot of fatigue and insomnia when looking for affordable housing. Additionally, this also affected his focus and performance when it came to school as well.
People in the community have to sleep in their cars, which makes them a vulnerable target to crimes. They struggle while still having to get up and go to work every day. Although Monterey is doing all they can as quick as possible, it may be a little while before there is a change.
With this petition, I want to inform people about the calamity but not just that, I hope to encourage all our leaders and you guys, whose voices matter tremendously to take the initiative. We can all learn, benefit, and contribute to each other's work in striving for fair housing.