Teenage Take on Affordable Housing

Teenage stereotypes notwithstanding, the next generation is paying close attention to the world around them. Budding journalist at Arroyo Grande High School Melih Dookie has published an excellent article in The Eagle Times about the shortage of available and accessible housing across the Central Coast. Capturing some of the work of two local leaders who are tackling different ends of the spectrum, real estate developer Nick Tompkins and 5Cities Homeless Coalition director Jana Nichols each share their sphere of influence and the respective problems they’re attempting to address. We applaud this thoughtful piece and encourage the young author to continue investigating these complex issues. 

Dookie’s piece highlights the wide spectrum of community members who are suffering from high rents and how different kinds of households need different solutions for the same problem. People experiencing homelessness need stable prices and supportive housing close to services and employment. An older high school student may find an ADU in their family’s backyard to be a great option as they explore their independence and start college or a vocational program. Service workers, Cal Poly graduates, contract employees, or newlyweds may prefer the privacy and low maintenance of an apartment close to where they work and shop. Young families may look for “elbow room” to host Thanksgiving dinner, throw a ball in the backyard, or have a grandparent move in full time. Empty-nesters often seek the security of ownership in a smaller home than where they raised their children, with an extra room for hosting the occasional guest. The housing crisis isn’t just a shortage of one type of housing, but a shortage across this spectrum of options, which exacerbates the struggles of those who have always had difficulty finding safe and secure places to live. 

Dana Reserve will be a place for the next generation and our oldest generations. From deed-restricted and permanently affordable apartments, to condos and compact houses, to larger homes for growing families, our “community within a community” will be a place where neighbors of all kinds can live, work, and play for a lifetime.  


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