Our local leadersare selling us out to transplants, visitors

For years I have been hearing that California has a “housing crisis.” Where is this growing demand for housing coming from? It appears to me that what California actually has is a “population crisis.” The marketing forces imposed on locals by an ever-increasing population of nonnatives is driving up the cost of existing housing and making it almost impossible for those of us who were born here to find a home and stay here. Transplants with “deep pockets” are responsible for the “housing crisis” on the Central Coast, not a “housing shortage.” There would be plenty of housing if they just stayed away.

Fueling the artificial “housing crisis” are our local politicians, who focus way too much of their energy on growing the tourist trade. Instead of apartments, we get hotels; instead of homes, we get weekend rentals. They are selling us out—literally.

If our local leaders really wanted to solve the “housing crisis,” they would take steps to end the profitability of owning a second or third house on the Central Coast. Why should local families go homeless while houses sit empty waiting for weekend visitors? Why not convert some of the hotels to apartments? Why should permanent residents have to choke on particulate matter just so weekend visitors can drive air-polluting ATVs around in circles on the sand? Why should another forest of air-cleansing, oxygen-producing California native oaks be sacrificed to the god of lucre for a tract of houses that none of us now living here can afford? What about our demand for sufficient water, open space, clean air, and less traffic pollution?

If politicians really wanted to solve the “housing crisis,” they would require residents, and potential residents, of the Central Coast to obtain a certified copy of their birth certificates. Then have them find the box that indicates “place of birth”… and tell them to go there!

Lisa Casillas-Siemsen

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