I am reading the email that I received this morning asking for public input needed on Draft Policy to Increase Affordable Housing in San Luis Obispo.
I am so grateful that the city is looking into this. I have lived in San Luis Obispo since 1989. When I moved here, I was married and we bought a house in Pismo Beach. I got divorced in 1995 and ever since I have been renting because I could not afford to buy anything.
I worked at Cal Poly from April of 1989 until my retirement in December of 2020. I receive my pension from Cal Poly and Social Security. I have an outstanding credit record, no debts. I would love to be able to buy an affordable 1 bedroom in the city of San Luis Obispo.
Well, let me tell you an experience that I had a week ago. I went to see a condo in the new development of San Luis Ranch. The Harvest Lofts. The price for a studio of 407 square feet. The price I was told was $420,000! Plus of course the homeowners association. Since this studio was the "cheapest" it did not get an assigned parking place. I asked the lady what about the units of affordable sales that every development has to have, what are those prices? She said she did not know because the City of San Luis Obispo decides the prices, and there is nobody in the city that knows anything about it. I was amazed with her answer.
I know that there is a list and I put my name on that list with the city. I understand that there is a lottery. But the prices are so high. I am a retired person with a fixed income. These condos are supposed to be for people that work and live in SLO. I am working for the San Luis Coastal Unified School District as a Spanish Interpreter and Translator. I worked at Cal Poly for 31 years and 8 months. I graduated from Cal Poly in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and in 2011 with a Master of Arts in Education.
I have been renting where I live since April of 2006. I like the place and the landlords but they sent me a letter in May of 2021 telling me that they were going to raise my rent 10% a year until it comes to the level of rents for a 1 bedroom apartment in San Luis Obispo.
Have you seen the rents in SLO? I went to see the 3 new apartment developments on Orcutt street. The development on Orcutt near Johnson, a studio the price was $2,320 per month. It was nice but a studio. The prices for a 1 bedroom $2,600 per month. I asked the person showing me the apartments. Are you renting to Cal Poly students? He said a couple but we have renters from Seattle, Washington, the Bay Area and the L.A. area. As you know, these are people with high salaries who are working remotely and they can afford the prices of rents in SLO because the rents from the areas that are coming from are very high. What about the people like me that work and live in SLO but do live on a fixed income? I cannot compete with these renters.
I visited the other development Connect on Orcutt, where the price for a one bedroom was $2500 and a studio $1997. I asked the person showing it to me are the developers from SLO? His answer, not from Santa Barbara.
I visited Twin Creek and there for a one bedroom apartment the rent was $2,625! I asked the person showing in, what happens after the one year lease is up? His answer, I do not know. Which means that the rents are going to continue to go up.
SLO has always been expensive but I wish the city would do something for people like me, honest, retired and with an outstanding credit record, with no debts. I am afraid that my 1 bedroom apartment, 650 sf, that I have lived in for the last 16 years is going to go up to almost $3,000 a month!
I hope that my input will help you.