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Wednesday, March 22, 2023
HomeCity PlanningAffordable HousingHumboldt Association of Realtors: Let's see some ownership opportunities

Humboldt Association of Realtors: Let’s see some ownership opportunities

The following letter was presented by Kristen Crooks at the August 9, 2022, Planning Commission meeting.




RE: Community Benefits of the Arcata Gateway Area Plan and Ownership  Opportunities 

Dear Arcata Planning Commission, 

Please consider adding at least a 10% requirement of owner-occupied units to the Arcata Gateway Plan. 

It is no secret that our County and State are experiencing a housing crisis. Coupled with rising home and rental prices members of our community are being priced out of house and home at a much higher rate. A recent article in the Time Standard stated: 

“A county resident would need to make $21.38, or $44,480 annually, to afford a  $1,112 rental, according to 2022 Out of Reach report by the National Low Income  Housing Coalition. The report prices a two-bedroom rental at $1,112, but one bedrooms in Humboldt County range from $825 to over $2,000 with most priced over  $1,000. Two-bedroom rentals start around $1,200, with few options available at that  price.” 

Beyond the national rise in sale prices post-pandemic, statistics indicate that Humboldt  County’s prices rose faster and higher than the national and state averages. In June of  2022 C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors®) reported the median home price in  Arcata was $510,000, with a median of nine days on the market, and only ten active  listings. [Editor’s note:  That would be 10 listings for the entire month — not 10 available at any one time.] To be clear to afford a $430,000 home a household would need to make at  least $85,000 annually, while the 2020 census report places the median household income at $49,235. 

We feel the Arcata Gateway Area Plan aligns with the goals of alleviating some strain of the housing crisis in Arcata, but at some point, we must stop reacting and start planning for more than just our current problems. Creating more supply with diversity in price range will help alleviate rising home prices and provide a pathway to the best way to build generational wealth, through homeownership.  

In the 2019-2027 Arcata Housing Element Arcata states “It is the goal of the City of Arcata to provide housing opportunities for people of all income levels through the development of a wide range of housing types and the preservation of existing housing”. 

It is already written into HE-1, the first policy mentioned in the 2019-2027 Arcata Housing Element to encourage a wide range of housing types. California’s homeownership rate is 54.8% significantly higher than the 36% in Arcata. While encouraging homeownership opportunities is a great start, without requirements the City is left open to large corporations leaching money out of our County and into their own communities. By  requiring ownership opportunities in the Arcata Gateway Area Plan, developers will work with the community to raise the ownership rates, create more diverse housing, and help increase the families’ net worth.  

While home ownership is the best way to build generational wealth for families, it also helps by funding our schools. 62.6% of property taxes in Humboldt County currently go towards funding our schools. An estimated over $45 million dollars (2021-2022) by the Humboldt County Budget will come from property taxes alone. When we require more ownership opportunities, we help increase the budgets for maintaining classrooms, staffing our schools, and events students have missed out on for years. When Habitat for Humanity conducted a  study on the beneficial impacts of homeownership, they found higher rates of homeownership increased graduation rates, good health in children, and net family worth while simultaneously decreasing children’s behavioral problems, reliance on government, and even asthma.  

We ask the Arcata Planning Commission to consider adding a minimum of 10% ownership opportunities in the Arcata Gateway Area Plan to encourage financial growth in the community, produce more revenue for the  School Districts, and help solve our housing crisis. Thank you for addressing the concerns of our community.  

If you have any questions or would like information on the data shown, please contact: Kristen Crooks, Government Relations Liaison, Humboldt Association of Realtors [click here for contact information, at the bottom of the About Us page.]


Joshua Cook 
Humboldt Association of Realtors® 
2022 President


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