2016 HOUSING ELEMENT

c/o City of Rio Vista


This Housing Element updates the 2017 City of Rio Vista Housing Element. Policies and programs of the 2016 Housing Element were reviewed and evaluated as a part of preparing this housing element update. The City’s success in implementing the 2017 Housing Element is evaluated at the end of Section D below.

BACKGROUND

The City of Rio Vista is an incorporated city in Solano County, California, with an estimated January 2018 population of 8,071 persons (State Department of Finance 2018). Rio Vista is located adjacent to the west side of the Sacramento River, about 22 miles east of the cities of Suisun City and Fairfield, which serves as the county seat.

Over the past decade, Rio Vista has annexed large land areas in response to its increased desirability as a place of residence for persons of retirement age and for those who commute to the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Area metropolitan regions. The following factors affect the extent to which housing is capable of being developed to satisfy this increase in demand for housing in Rio Vista:

  •   Rio Vista’s location within the Bay Area (defined by the nine counties that border on San Francisco Bay) along Highway 12, its proximity to the Sacramento metropolitan region, and the “small-town” feel of the community are primary attractions for current and future Rio Vista residents.
  •   Urban areas to the west and east of Rio Vista are major employment centers with many desirable amenities. At the same time, these areas are subject to higherRio Vista General Plan 6-1 Public Review Draft Housing Element

 Lowering the cost of homes

Housing costs, higher crime rates, and other undesirable aspects of urban life, such as traffic congestion and reduced open space. By contrast, Rio Vista generally has lower housing costs, lower levels of crime, and less congestion than neighboring larger cities.

  •   Until just a few years ago, the demand for homes in Rio Vista, combined with the costs of providing necessary expansions in infrastructure and services, caused the prices of homes in Rio Vista to rise. The demand came primarily as a result of foreign nationals from Asia. This particular phenomena is occurring across the world, but specifically in Canada. Residential prices in Vancouver area have simply skyrocketed.
  •   Both long-time residents and newcomers to Rio Vista would like the city to retain its small-town qualities—those which initially attracted them to the community. New housing development has often adversely affected communities, both large and small, by putting excess demand on their infrastructure and services and by diluting their character through the construction subdivisions that are indistinguishable from one another. Rio Vista’s concerns about the negative impacts of large-scale, poorly- planned developments on the community’s character and quality of life are the same as those faced by communities statewide.
  •   The success and implementation ABAG transit-oriented development policies and Metropolitan Transportation Commission projects, programs, and policies will be a major factor in the demand for housing as they will determine funding for improvements to transportation infrastructure and the ability of residents in the City to commute into job centers in larger metropolitan areas. The current direction of transit policies and transit-related development policies has focused on funding for projects to improve transit and encourage development in high density urban centers in the Bay Area region.In an effort to balance these concerns with the need to provide for adequate, affordable housing, Rio Vista General Plan elements, such as the Community Character and Design element and the Resource Conservation and Management element, were adopted to protect the local environment and establish standards for new neighborhoods that will help sustain Rio Vista’s high quality of life.
    COMPONENTS OF THE HOUSING ELEMENT
  • The Rio Vista Housing element consists of the following sections, each of which addresses State Housing Element requirements, as summarized below.PURPOSE AND AUTHORITYThe “Purpose and Authority” section sets forth the state law requirements that guide preparation and implementation of the City’s housing element. This includes the public participation requirements, recent legislation that affects the Housing Element, the need for internal consistency among all the General Plan elements, and the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) determination for all income groups in Rio Vista.

    Rio Vista General Plan 6-2 Public Review Draft Housing Element July 2010 2007-2014

IMPLEMENTING THE COMMUNITY VISION

The “Implementing the Community Vision – The Rio Vista Principles” section identifies the General Plan principles that are applicable to the Housing Element. These principles provide guidance for the City’s housing policy direction and programs.

SETTING
The “Setting” section describes existing conditions and addresses the following topics:

Population includes historical population growth information, as well as comparisons with other jurisdictions.

Household Characteristics and Trends includes historical and existing household and demographic characteristics and observed trends including age, gender, and ethnicity distribution in the population, as well as household type and size, and tenure. This section also includes information about household income, education, and employment.

Income, Education, and Employment includes income, labor force, and employment data.

Housing Characteristics includes information on housing including occupancy and vacancy rates, types and costs, affordability, overpayment for housing, and housing conditions.

Special Housing Needs discusses the special needs of the elderly, disabled, large families, female heads of household, farm workers, and the homeless and others in need of emergency shelter.

Existing Housing Assistance and Production Programs summarizes the state, federal, and local programs available to Rio Vista to help meet its housing needs.

Review of Previous Housing Element discusses the effectiveness of the 2006-2017 element.

OUTLOOK
The “Outlook” section addresses future conditions for the following topics:

Projected Housing Need discusses the ABAG Regional Housing Needs Determination (RHND) process and the quantified future housing needs for Rio Vista that were adopted by ABAG for 2017-2024

Constraints to Housing Production addresses the governmental and non- governmental constraints to the development of affordable housing. Potential means for reducing constraints are identified.

Rio Vista General Plan 6-3 Public Review Draft Housing Element

Land Resources assesses the land available for housing production in the City. This includes an inventory of vacant sites available, including identification of the land use controls applicable to each site, and a calculation of the capacity of each site to accommodate new housing.

Equal Housing Opportunity discusses the City’s obligation to help ensure equal housing opportunities for all segments of the community.

Residential Energy Conservation discusses efforts by the City to promote energy conservation in existing homes and new construction and how energy efficiency affects the cost of housing.

Monitoring Program identifies the criteria the City will apply toward gauging the success of its housing programs.

 

GOALS, POLICIES, AND IMPLEMENTING RESIDENTIAL ACTIONS

 

This section describes the City’s commitment to the actions that are necessary to address the housing needs of current and future residents, including special needs groups, energy conservation, and equal housing opportunity. While goal statements are general, the housing programs spell out the specific actions necessary to achieve the goal and policy statements adopted in principle. Specific actions and programs are aimed at meeting the City’s affordable housing needs over the planning period.

Goals state the overall desired conditions that the City would like to achieve as part of its vision; goal statements are general.

Policies indicate an action or direction that the City must take as a step toward achieving the desired condition or goal; policies are more specific statements of how a goal will be implemented.

Implementing Actions identify programs and actions that will be required to implement the stated policies.

In addition, the housing element includes a monitoring program that identifies the criteria the City will apply toward gauging the success of its housing programs.

Effect of Chinese Buyers in California and Los Angeles Real Estate

The year 2016 was a bountiful year for Los Angeles, California and Rio Vista real estate and you may be wondering what could have led to such feat. It has been observed that a lot of Chinese nationals have come to these cities to make their property purchases. The effect of Chinese buyers in California and Los Angeles real estate and especially Rio Vista cannot be overemphasized. Chinese buyers have been doing more since than the local buyers in some of these cities.

On the national level, it has been observed that the Chinese buyers bought more than the Canadians in real estate in America, spending about 28.6 billion in 2016 according to the National Association of REALTORS. The reason for this movement is because the Chinese are seeking out better educational opportunities for their kids and also safer monetary harbors. Take for instance, in Los Angeles where the Chinese has created their customized Shangri-la in the suburb of Arcadia. In 2010, the Chinese living in Arcadia was put at 44% and that number has increased in such vehemence that Arcadia has famously tagged called the “Chinese Beverly Hills.”

The Chinese economic situation is what should be considered to fully come to a satiating grasp of the effect of the Chinese buyers on the American real estate market. The Chinese government seems to be struggling to stabilize its economy. In 2015, some argued that the Chinese economic growth was coming down to 7%. In reality, this 7% in 2015 was higher than what was found in the top five world economies.

The Chinese government has been able to stimulate its economic growth over the years with enough cash and has made policy changes that have lifted restrictions that once prevented its citizens from traveling to other countries with excess cash. These changes have provided the citizens an opportunity to slush funds in other countries. The excessive cash available to the citizens has caused fear and anxiety among the wealthy Chinese who are looking out for greener pastures.

Some Chinese investors have seen places like California, Los Angeles and Rio Vista real estate as safe habors for their investments. The effect of Chinese buyers in California and Los Angeles real estate, and especially Rio Vista real estate has also been seen in entertainment and other spheres of American life.

Today, the Chinese are no longer shy off integrating with the Western world and has seen the American real estate as an opportunity of making more money for themselves, getting more rotund purses. How will the American real estate benefit from the Chinese buyers?

The effect of the Chinese making a huge real estate purchases lately can have a positive or negative effect. China is mainly a manufacturing nation and has been responsible for keeping everyone relative stable with its production while it pushes money into the American real estate. The glamour and love for the Western education may not be the primary reason why Chinese buyers are coming to California , Los Angeles and Rio Vista to buy up properties. The flight to be safe is the main reason why these nationals are coming over to these cities for their real estate investments.

The Chinese wealthy real estate investors are seriously trying to save their money as they await their country’s economy to be stabilized. There is no gainsaying that the biggest spenders in the American real estate are the Chinese buyers. The effect of this has caused an economic growth in American quality of education and housing market.

The Chinese Buyers Purpose in America

Most Chinese real estate investors are only buying up properties purely as investments as they capitalized on the increasing rents in other parts of the United States of America. Some of the Chinese nationals are only trying to move their money to cities like Los Angeles, California and Rio Vista beyond the reach of their government. Real estate in America has become the Chinese panacea. California isn’t the only state getting the magic sprinkle. New York is also seeing a pour of money into residential and commercial real estate:

The desire to get good homes close to schools have not been overlooked by the Chinese buyers. The hope to get the American green cards and taking the advantage of the federal programs are some of the factors that have caused a massive real estate investment by the Chinese. These are some of the things that can fast track their residency in America.

The Chinese have a different mindset and if you are to deal with them, you are going to take into consideration their traditions, beliefs and culture. Statistics has shown that the 7% of the California real estate actually come from international buyers like the Chinese.

God forbid that the Chinese investors decide to leave the United States of America’s real estate. If such undesirable situation can happen, it would hit the American stock market, not forgetting the crashing of the real estate that would affect the price of properties.

With the new Trump administration coming in, bargains may unlikely to be found by investors which is one of the reasons why the Chinese investors are spending a lot of money. The American trade issue and trump instability might be that stumbling block before the Chinese can think of pumping more money into the real estate. For those in California, the Make American Great Again has become an excellent opportunity for Chinese investors to spend more on the city’s real estate.

The effect of Chinese Buyers in California and Los Angeles Real Estate, especially Rio Vista real Estate is seen clearly in the market. These Chinese buyers can either make or mar the real estate market of America. Everyone is aware of the massive impact that they have on the markets and satisfying them is topmost on the list of those investing with them.

One of the most interesting real estate forecasts in America is that of Los Angeles for the next few years. The housing developers in Rio Vista and California are hard pressed to ensure that they build new homes that would accommodate the surge in the new of investors buying new homes.

The Verdict

Some realtors are saying that the Los Angeles real estate market have been taken over by luxury niches which is what the Chinese are coming to the city for. At the end, if Trump is able to shake the American economy, the real estate business would really boom. Those who are waiting with their cash are the Chinese and we expect places like Rio Vista, California and Los Angeles real estate markets to appreciate even faster. There is no end to what is expected from and for the Chinese buyers in America.

The prospect of America lies in its luxury, entertainment, safety, access to good health and education and glamour and these factors are some of the factors that are bringing international investors to the country.

The effect of Chinese buyers on some of these cities has become what the stock market looks up to in deciding what happens to the real estate niche. Currently, there is no sign that the Chinese are ready to pull off their investments in America. With their desire to invest the more, the more the housing developers would be able to able to provide affordable houses to the residents of these cities mentioned.