Although Thousand Oaks has unique challenges when it comes to housing, we have the opportunity to be creative in addressing the housing shortage we have in our city. While many are concerned about changing the “feel” of Thousand Oaks by adding new housing, there are communities that lack the privilege to be concerned by such trivial and abstract concepts. For many young people, it is virtually impossible to afford housing in our city. With CLU and Moorpark College nearby, we need to ensure that students can live in the city, contribute to the economy, and more than that--invigorate our city with their vision and unique perspectives. We additionally need to create housing solutions for our seniors and those without homes, two other groups that are left out by the city’s current housing predicament. Finally, we need to ensure that new housing projects would not have a negative environmental impact, or primarily benefit the developers that build them. The truth is, protecting our open space and finding solutions to the housing dilemma are not mutually exclusive. If elected, I will be a fierce advocate for protecting our open space and addressing the housing shortage.
Put Pressure on Housing Developers
If we are going to make a serious dent in our lack of affordable housing in the city, we need to start with the developers. It is not sufficient for developers to include only a few affordable units here or there. We need to put pressure on these developers to value residents over the exorbitant profits they seek to make.
Mixed-Use Housing Projects
We need to put more mixed use housing in our city, specifically in the 101 corridor. This will not only create a more walkable city, it will also reduce traffic in the long run. It will also curb our dependence on cars and positively benefit our environment for generations to come.
Create Community Land Trust in Thousand Oaks
Although two community land trusts (CLTs) exist in the county, they are both currently focusing on west county to create affordable units. I will explore creating a CLT here in our city to make the units we already have more affordable for residents. We also need to involve the CLT in future developments to ensure the units being built will be affordable in the long term. This is crucial in adequately addressing the housing crisis in our city.