Families in Nevada County are facing a housing crisis like never before.
With the median cost of buying a home in Nevada County exceeding $550,000, most families have no chance of purchasing a home, and the high cost of rentals is forcing many families to relocate from Nevada County. This crisis affects family stability, school enrollments, the local labor market and the quality of life for all county residents.
To begin a serious discussion about tackling this crisis, Nevada County Habitat will host a town hall, Priced Out! Women, Children & Housing, on Thursday, March 11 at 2pm via Zoom. The purpose of the town hall is to not only raise awareness about the lack of affordable housing, but what steps can we take as a community to overcome this challenge.
Panelists for Priced Out! Women, Children & Housing include California Assemblywoman Megan Dahle, Nevada County Supervisor Sue Hoek, Grass Valley Council Member Hilary Hodge, Nevada City Council Member Daniela Fernandez, and Nevada County Habitat Executive Director Lorraine Larson. While each will present their unique perspectives on the crisis, they will also be seeking to identify immediate steps individuals, organizations and government can take to find workable solutions.
Why the focus on women and children? This crisis hits them the hardest. In Grass Valley nearly 27% of women are living in poverty, and 38% of children enrolled in school live below the poverty line (younger children fare worse – 56% of kids in grades 1-4 are impoverished). Typically women earn 80% of what a male earns. For a single mom, or a young married mom, financial hardship can be severe. According to several data sources, 60% of low-income renters in Grass Valley pay more than 50% of their monthly income toward housing (it’s worse in Nevada City with 80% being severely cost-burdened).
“If we can solve the problem for women,” says Rick Ballantyne, President of Nevada County Habitat, “We solve the problem, period.” He went on to say that 65% of the families that purchased a home from Habitat in Nevada County are headed by women. “And every Habitat home has a mom.” To underscore this, of those attending a homeowner-interest orientation in September 2014, 82% of attendees were women. Habitat currently has a list of 188 people interested in purchasing a Habitat home, most of whom are women.
The public is welcome to attend by registering at www.nchabitat.org/advocacy/. There is no cost, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists.
Priced Out! Women, Children & Housing Virtual Town Hall is co-sponsored by The Union and the Nevada County Association of REALTORS. The event coincides with Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Build week, powered by Lowe’s. For more information on the Virtual Town Hall go here.