City of Salinas: Creating a Blueprint for Fiscal Sustainability and Housing Affordability

Report National Resource Network California, Florida November 26, 2018 Finance + Operation

Without action, the City of Salinas, California, faces a cumulative deficit of more than $60 million over the next ten years. At the same time, more than 40 percent of all Salinas residents are housing burdened and more than 1,000 are homeless. If the city does nothing, it will run out of reserves by FY23 and will face a cumulative deficit of $63.1 million over the next ten years. Overcrowded housing and homelessness will continue to worsen, and Salinas will become even more unaffordable for its current residents.

To tackle these challenges, the city needed a plan for fiscal stability to ensure it has the resources needed to provide opportunities for prosperity, safety and quality of life for all residents, and to meet the glaring challenges of unsafe housing conditions while also creating more than 4,000 new units of affordable housing over the next decade, if possible.

In 2018, the Network partnered with Salinas to develop a multi-year financial plan that would provide recommendations to leverage the city’s tremendous assets, while addressing some of its most pressing challenges. The resulting Salinas Plan details 32 proposals that will allow the city to balance the General Fund budget; free up the resources needed to invest in infrastructure; provide a stronger fiscal foundation for the future service of municipal employees; and position Salinas to boldly take advantage of new Federal and State initiatives designed to create thousands of units of new affordable housing.

Network consortium members PFM and Enterprise Community Partners led this engagement, with support from Marquez Community Strategy. The Network previously partnered with the City of Salinas and neighboring cities of Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, and Soledad to identify and address key decision points needed to launch sector partnerships in targeted industries. That report is available here.

City of Salinas: Creating a Blueprint for Fiscal Sustainability and Housing Affordability