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Business leaders seek

The San Diego North Economic Development Council and North San Diego Country Association of Realtors are sponsoring the 2018 North County Housing Summit Thursday, July 19, 7— 10 a.m. at California Center for the Arts, Escondido 340 N. Escondido Blvd.

As San Diego County’s deepening housing crisis begins to impact the region’s economy, local leaders look for less talk, more action. The high cost of housing has emerged as one of the most important issues facing San Diego’s economy.

A new study recently underscored just how much the crisis is impacting the ability of local companies to attract and retain talent and how it is eroding business confidence.

One of those who authored the report, Nathan Moeder, will be on a panel at the housing summit.

Speakers will include Dr. Mark Schniepp, Founder, California Economic Forecast, who will give the keynote address; elected officials including Vista Mayor Judy Ritter and Oceanside councilmembers Jerry Kern and Jack Feller; employers and employees who will discuss how the housing crisis is impacting them.

The report: San Diego County Housing Study & Economic Impact Analysis, published this year by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, noted:

“2016: Even as the economy has improved in San Diego County, approximately half of the region’s renters spend over 35 percent of their total household income on housing. In fact, renters from North County have experienced an increase in the proportional cost (as a percentage of household income) of rents from 2011 to 2014. 2018: In North County, approximately half of renters continue to spend over 35 percent of their gross income on housing, a higher portion than communities in the Bay Area, such as Santa Clara County2. The discrepancy between increased housing costs and minimal wage increases continues to exacerbate this challenge and as the results show below is negatively impacting employers ability to find qualified workers.”

The report added:

“2016: “Ability to find reasonably priced housing for employees that is close to work” was the issue San Diego County employers were most dissatisfied with (28%) of the eight issues tested. The only other issue to register just over 10 percent dissatisfaction, was the “Ability to attract new employees that live outside the region”. The nexus between talent and housing was a consistent theme in the employer survey results. 2018: “Ability to find reasonably priced housing for employees that is close to work” remains the issue North County employers were most dissatisfied with, of the eight examined, and dissatisfaction went up considerably from 25 percent in 2016 to 47 percent in 2018.”

In 2018, as in 2016, “Retaining and attracting talent was the biggest challenge identified by San Diego County businesses, when asked to identify the biggest obstacle for their firm’s growth. The need to attract and retain talent was identified more often than the overall cost/expenses associated with doing business in the region. 2018: The challenge of recruiting and retaining talent who can find housing in the area continues to be a real difficulty for most North County employers. Almost one in three (30%) North County employers indicated that “recruiting employees who can find adequate housing within a reasonable distance from work” was a great difficulty and another 43 percent indicated that it is providing some difficulty. Almost three-quarters (74%) of North County businesses are having at least some difficulty “retaining valuable employees who want to purchase housing within a reasonable distance from work.”

At the 2018 North County Housing Summit, employers, workers economists and elected officials will gather to dig deep into the crisis — understanding its consequences and identify actionable measures that can help alleviate what has become one of the region’s most pressing matters.

Participants will also discuss the impacts presented by proposed local ballot measures that seek to limit housing options for San Diegans, especially Millennials.

The event is sponsored by the San Diego North Economic Development Council, in partnership with Housing You Matters, and the San Diego North County Association of Realtors, and the North County Economic Development Corporation.

 

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