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.