by Paul L. Johnson
The biggest factor that anyone should take into account regarding how to vote on Measure A next week is the housing situation in Davis, which really is a silent and slow-moving disaster. I served on the UC Davis Family Housing Redevelopment Committee, which was tasked with making recommendations regarding how to redevelop the Orchard Park apartment complex.
As part of the research that our committee did, I learned the truly dismaying fact behind why rental prices are so high, even by California standards, and rising every year: According to the most recent annual survey by BAE Urban Economics (2015, seehttp://housing.ucdavis.edu/_pdf/vacancy_report/2015-vacancy-report.pdf, p. 3), the apartment vacancy rate in Davis is 0.2 percent.
That’s point 2 percent, not 2 percent.
The vacancy rate is declining every year, too, from 1.9 percent in 2013 to 0.3 percent in 2014 to 0.2 percent in 2015 (BAE 2015, p. 3). With the city’s resident population growing every year and UC Davis’ enrollment increasing every year, supply and demand have a very big problem here.
Please vote yes on Measure A to increase the supply of rental housing in Davis, as a necessary step toward eventually alleviating the tremendous burden that all students, including those with families such as myself, face in the form of sky-high rental rates that leave many dependent on social welfare or skipping meals in order to get by.