California wildfire evacuees plunged into state’s housing crisis

As firefighters in California begin to get a handle on the deadly wildfires that have ravaged both ends of the state and destroyed thousands of homes this past week, those affected will soon face the potentially daunting task of having to find permanent housing in a state already experiencing a massive housing shortage. The Camp Fire in … Continue reading “California wildfire evacuees plunged into state’s housing crisis”

As firefighters in California begin to get a handle on the deadly wildfires that have ravaged both ends of the state and destroyed thousands of homes this past week, those affected will soon face the potentially daunting task of having to find permanent housing in a state already experiencing a massive housing shortage.

The Camp Fire in Northern California decimated the town of Paradise, killing at least 71, and destroying 90 percent of its housing stock, turning homeowners there into refugees.

Some have been staying in motels, shelters or with family and friends before they attempt to find permanent housing or rebuilding their homes.

But California ranks 49th in the U.S. in housing units per capita. Factors include the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, which limited the amount of money cities and counties could spend on new housing, and the job booms in technology and other fields that have attracted residents from out of state faster than new housing can be made available.

Video

As a result, “There is no way that the current housing stock can accommodate the people displaced by the fire,” said Casey Hatcher, a spokeswoman for Butte County, where Paradise and surrounding towns ravaged by the Camp Fire are located. “We recognize that it’s going to be some time before people rebuild, and there is an extremely large housing need.”

“There is no way that the current housing stock can accommodate the people displaced by the fire. We recognize that it’s going to be some time before people rebuild, and there is an extremely large housing need.”

— Casey Hatcher, spokeswoman for fire-ravaged Butte County, Calif.

Some of those displaced have resorted to extreme measures while contemplating their next move, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I just want to go home," said Suzanne Kaksonen, a Paradise resident now staying in a tent city in a Walmart parking lot in Chico with her two cockatoos after her 800-square-foot home was destroyed. "I don't even care if there's no home. I just want to go back to my dirt, you know, and put a trailer up and clean it up and get going. Sooner the better. I don't want to wait six months. That petrifies me."

Suzanne Kaksonen, an evacuee of the Camp Fire, and her cockatoo Buddy camp at a makeshift shelter outside a Walmart store in Chico, Calif. (Associated Press)

DeAnn Miller, 57, who also stayed in the tent city, was homeless for over a year before her uncle gave her a travel trailer. She evacuated so quickly that she didn’t event take a change of clothes.

“To just get a home again and to lose it like this …” she said before trailing off. “I don’t want to be homeless again.”

“To just get a home again and to lose it like this … I don’t want to be homeless again.”

— DeAnn Miller, 57, Californian displaced by fire

Further south near Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire destroyed 35 homes. Evacuees need shelter for now, but eventually, they will need homes.

Patty Saunders, 89, barely escaped her mobile home community where she lived on a $900 monthly Social Security check. She had hoped to stay with her daughter outside Los Angeles, but she too was forced to evacuate her home.

People sit by their tents at a makeshift encampment outside a Walmart store for people displaced by the Camp Fire. (Associated Press)

“What is happening with California, dear?” Saunders said, covered in blankets in a church gym. “It’s going to be tough.”

Some Southern Californa evacuees who fled their homes have been allowed to return.

More than 81,000 people across the state have evacuated from their homes in the week since the fires began. Housing experts said while the state’s economy from its ports to Hollywood and Silicon Valley has boomed, housing supply has failed to keep up with demand, according to the New York Times.

As more people transplant themselves, the demand only grows.

Video

From 2009 to 2014, California added 544,000 new households, but built only 467,000 units over the same period, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

“We’ve had a huge increase in population and a huge increase in jobs, and we do not have anywhere close to the supply of housing to put people,” said Carol Galante, faculty director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California at Berkeley. “There is no margin when there is a disaster; there is no cushion at all.”

Butte County was already plagued by a severe housing shortage before the Camp Fire, Ed Mayer, executive director of the county’s housing agency told the Sacramento Bee, adding the vacancy rate was at 2 percent.

Many Paradise residents will face difficulties rebuilding their homes because of their limited financial means, he said.

“Big picture, we have 6,000, possibly 7,000 households who have been displaced and who realistically don’t stand a chance of finding housing again in Butte County,” Mayer said. “I don’t even know if these households can be absorbed in California.”

President Trump will meet with Gov. Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom during a visit to the state Saturday to tour the damage and meet with those affected. Trump previously threatened to withhold federal funds to the state while blaming California for "gross mismanagement" of its forests.

But the president later toned down his rhetoric, in a Twitter message Wednesday.

"Just spoke to Governor Jerry Brown to let him know that we are with him, and the people of California, all the way!" Trump wrote in one of several messages.

One possible housing solution for California would be for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide trailers for people to live in while their homes are being rebuilt.

For now, authorities are focused on providing relief.

“This is a tremendous strain in an already difficult situation,” said Shawn Boyd, a spokesman for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Realtor takes heat for using partially clothed models in ads to attract home buyers

A Houston-area Realtor’s use of half-naked models to draw attention to a hard-to-sell property has attracted a number of complaints about the risque content.

Kristin Gyldenege launched the marketing tactic after her client’s three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the Houston suburb of Conroe sat on the market for 40 days with no offers, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Kristin Gyldenege launched the marketing tactic after her client’s three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the Houston suburb of Conroe sat on the market for 40 days with no offers. (Kristin Gyldenege)

To appeal to potential buyers, Gyldenege took photos of partially-clothed male and female models performing everyday household tasks – such as cooking or changing a light bulb — and uploaded them to HAR.com, a Texas real estate website.

Within the first 24 hours, the listing had been viewed 20,000 times, compared to fewer than 1,000 before.

She told Fox News: "Of course we needed to show off their amazing bodies and we all know that sex sells so it needed to be sexy but believable.  Something someone could see themselves in or ASPIRE to see themselves in." (Kristin Gyldenege)

Gyldenege, who calls herself 'The Potty Mouthed Agent', told Fox News: "After 40 days on the market and several open houses we still weren't getting traffic so I had an idea. I wanted to show a young couple enjoying the home they just bought. I knew I wanted to appeal to twenty and thirty-somethings, first time home buyers. I also knew using just regular people would not get the attention it deserved so I recruited two fitness models and posed them throughout the home.

"Of course we needed to show off their amazing bodies and we all know that sex sells so it needed to be sexy but believable.  Something someone could see themselves in or ASPIRE to see themselves in.  I shot the pictures Sunday morning and posted them Sunday afternoon, but Sunday night it had gone viral and by Monday morning the pictures had been removed due to HAR receiving over 100 complaints. Success!

"The home that got 180 views in all of October….has now been viewed almost 10k times in less than a week, and that is just on HAR site.

However, not everyone was a fan of Gyldenege’s advertising campaign. The site removed the photos after receiving around 100 complaints. (Kristin Gyldenege)

"You see I knew there was going to be controversy. I knew there were haters. I experienced it the first time I went viral with stuffy old school agents saying I was "unprofessional", "tacky", and a "disgrace to the profession".

"I know better.  Our industry is changing quickly. The younger generations decided years ago they hate Realtors. They hate the concept. They think they are fake AF and do not need them. So they found ways to avoid us. They found ways to sell their own home. Agents are constantly on edge fearing society is replacing us and we will all be out of jobs soon….and in some way they are right. If you think all a real estate agent brings to the table is take pictures of a house and list it on the internet, you can't see justifying not doing it yourself. What agents are forgetting is we are a service. We must pull out all stops and do whatever it takes to make sure our clients walk away happy. It's our duty."

However, not everyone was a fan of Gyldenege’s advertising campaign. The site removed the photos after receiving around 100 complaints.

Other listing services still have the photos, she said, adding that she expected some backlash. The homeowner approved the idea, she said.

"In the end, that's what matters —  doing what's best for my client," she said.

As of Wednesday, Gyldenege had still not received any serious offers for the home.

"[Potential buyers] may not look like [the models]," she said, "but if they think they could look like that in this house, they would be more attracted to at least see it."

California wildfire evacuees plunged into state’s housing crisis

As firefighters in California begin to get a handle on the deadly wildfires that have ravaged both ends of the state and destroyed thousands of homes this past week, those affected will soon face the potentially daunting task of having to find permanent housing in a state already experiencing a massive housing shortage.

The Camp Fire in Northern California decimated the town of Paradise, killing at least 71, and destroying 90 percent of its housing stock, turning homeowners there into refugees.

Some have been staying in motels, shelters or with family and friends before they attempt to find permanent housing or rebuilding their homes.

But California ranks 49th in the U.S. in housing units per capita. Factors include the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, which limited the amount of money cities and counties could spend on new housing, and the job booms in technology and other fields that have attracted residents from out of state faster than new housing can be made available.

Video

As a result, “There is no way that the current housing stock can accommodate the people displaced by the fire,” said Casey Hatcher, a spokeswoman for Butte County, where Paradise and surrounding towns ravaged by the Camp Fire are located. “We recognize that it’s going to be some time before people rebuild, and there is an extremely large housing need.”

“There is no way that the current housing stock can accommodate the people displaced by the fire. We recognize that it’s going to be some time before people rebuild, and there is an extremely large housing need.”

— Casey Hatcher, spokeswoman for fire-ravaged Butte County, Calif.

Some of those displaced have resorted to extreme measures while contemplating their next move, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I just want to go home," said Suzanne Kaksonen, a Paradise resident now staying in a tent city in a Walmart parking lot in Chico with her two cockatoos after her 800-square-foot home was destroyed. "I don't even care if there's no home. I just want to go back to my dirt, you know, and put a trailer up and clean it up and get going. Sooner the better. I don't want to wait six months. That petrifies me."

Suzanne Kaksonen, an evacuee of the Camp Fire, and her cockatoo Buddy camp at a makeshift shelter outside a Walmart store in Chico, Calif. (Associated Press)

DeAnn Miller, 57, who also stayed in the tent city, was homeless for over a year before her uncle gave her a travel trailer. She evacuated so quickly that she didn’t event take a change of clothes.

“To just get a home again and to lose it like this …” she said before trailing off. “I don’t want to be homeless again.”

“To just get a home again and to lose it like this … I don’t want to be homeless again.”

— DeAnn Miller, 57, Californian displaced by fire

Further south near Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire destroyed 35 homes. Evacuees need shelter for now, but eventually, they will need homes.

Patty Saunders, 89, barely escaped her mobile home community where she lived on a $900 monthly Social Security check. She had hoped to stay with her daughter outside Los Angeles, but she too was forced to evacuate her home.

People sit by their tents at a makeshift encampment outside a Walmart store for people displaced by the Camp Fire. (Associated Press)

“What is happening with California, dear?” Saunders said, covered in blankets in a church gym. “It’s going to be tough.”

Some Southern Californa evacuees who fled their homes have been allowed to return.

More than 81,000 people across the state have evacuated from their homes in the week since the fires began. Housing experts said while the state’s economy from its ports to Hollywood and Silicon Valley has boomed, housing supply has failed to keep up with demand, according to the New York Times.

As more people transplant themselves, the demand only grows.

Video

From 2009 to 2014, California added 544,000 new households, but built only 467,000 units over the same period, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

“We’ve had a huge increase in population and a huge increase in jobs, and we do not have anywhere close to the supply of housing to put people,” said Carol Galante, faculty director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California at Berkeley. “There is no margin when there is a disaster; there is no cushion at all.”

Butte County was already plagued by a severe housing shortage before the Camp Fire, Ed Mayer, executive director of the county’s housing agency told the Sacramento Bee, adding the vacancy rate was at 2 percent.

Many Paradise residents will face difficulties rebuilding their homes because of their limited financial means, he said.

“Big picture, we have 6,000, possibly 7,000 households who have been displaced and who realistically don’t stand a chance of finding housing again in Butte County,” Mayer said. “I don’t even know if these households can be absorbed in California.”

President Trump will meet with Gov. Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom during a visit to the state Saturday to tour the damage and meet with those affected. Trump previously threatened to withhold federal funds to the state while blaming California for "gross mismanagement" of its forests.

But the president later toned down his rhetoric, in a Twitter message Wednesday.

"Just spoke to Governor Jerry Brown to let him know that we are with him, and the people of California, all the way!" Trump wrote in one of several messages.

One possible housing solution for California would be for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide trailers for people to live in while their homes are being rebuilt.

For now, authorities are focused on providing relief.

“This is a tremendous strain in an already difficult situation,” said Shawn Boyd, a spokesman for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

California wildfire evacuees plunged into state’s housing crisis

As firefighters in California begin to get a handle on the deadly wildfires that have ravaged both ends of the state and destroyed thousands of homes this past week, those affected will soon face the potentially daunting task of having to find permanent housing in a state already experiencing a massive housing shortage.

The Camp Fire in Northern California decimated the town of Paradise, killing at least 71, and destroying 90 percent of its housing stock, turning homeowners there into refugees.

Some have been staying in motels, shelters or with family and friends before they attempt to find permanent housing or rebuilding their homes.

But California ranks 49th in the U.S. in housing units per capita. Factors include the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, which limited the amount of money cities and counties could spend on new housing, and the job booms in technology and other fields that have attracted residents from out of state faster than new housing can be made available.

Video

As a result, “There is no way that the current housing stock can accommodate the people displaced by the fire,” said Casey Hatcher, a spokeswoman for Butte County, where Paradise and surrounding towns ravaged by the Camp Fire are located. “We recognize that it’s going to be some time before people rebuild, and there is an extremely large housing need.”

“There is no way that the current housing stock can accommodate the people displaced by the fire. We recognize that it’s going to be some time before people rebuild, and there is an extremely large housing need.”

— Casey Hatcher, spokeswoman for fire-ravaged Butte County, Calif.

Some of those displaced have resorted to extreme measures while contemplating their next move, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I just want to go home," said Suzanne Kaksonen, a Paradise resident now staying in a tent city in a Walmart parking lot in Chico with her two cockatoos after her 800-square-foot home was destroyed. "I don't even care if there's no home. I just want to go back to my dirt, you know, and put a trailer up and clean it up and get going. Sooner the better. I don't want to wait six months. That petrifies me."

Suzanne Kaksonen, an evacuee of the Camp Fire, and her cockatoo Buddy camp at a makeshift shelter outside a Walmart store in Chico, Calif. (Associated Press)

DeAnn Miller, 57, who also stayed in the tent city, was homeless for over a year before her uncle gave her a travel trailer. She evacuated so quickly that she didn’t event take a change of clothes.

“To just get a home again and to lose it like this …” she said before trailing off. “I don’t want to be homeless again.”

“To just get a home again and to lose it like this … I don’t want to be homeless again.”

— DeAnn Miller, 57, Californian displaced by fire

Further south near Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire destroyed 35 homes. Evacuees need shelter for now, but eventually, they will need homes.

Patty Saunders, 89, barely escaped her mobile home community where she lived on a $900 monthly Social Security check. She had hoped to stay with her daughter outside Los Angeles, but she too was forced to evacuate her home.

People sit by their tents at a makeshift encampment outside a Walmart store for people displaced by the Camp Fire. (Associated Press)

“What is happening with California, dear?” Saunders said, covered in blankets in a church gym. “It’s going to be tough.”

Some Southern Californa evacuees who fled their homes have been allowed to return.

More than 81,000 people across the state have evacuated from their homes in the week since the fires began. Housing experts said while the state’s economy from its ports to Hollywood and Silicon Valley has boomed, housing supply has failed to keep up with demand, according to the New York Times.

As more people transplant themselves, the demand only grows.

Video

From 2009 to 2014, California added 544,000 new households, but built only 467,000 units over the same period, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

“We’ve had a huge increase in population and a huge increase in jobs, and we do not have anywhere close to the supply of housing to put people,” said Carol Galante, faculty director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at University of California at Berkeley. “There is no margin when there is a disaster; there is no cushion at all.”

Butte County was already plagued by a severe housing shortage before the Camp Fire, Ed Mayer, executive director of the county’s housing agency told the Sacramento Bee, adding the vacancy rate was at 2 percent.

Many Paradise residents will face difficulties rebuilding their homes because of their limited financial means, he said.

“Big picture, we have 6,000, possibly 7,000 households who have been displaced and who realistically don’t stand a chance of finding housing again in Butte County,” Mayer said. “I don’t even know if these households can be absorbed in California.”

President Trump will meet with Gov. Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom during a visit to the state Saturday to tour the damage and meet with those affected. Trump previously threatened to withhold federal funds to the state while blaming California for "gross mismanagement" of its forests.

But the president later toned down his rhetoric, in a Twitter message Wednesday.

"Just spoke to Governor Jerry Brown to let him know that we are with him, and the people of California, all the way!" Trump wrote in one of several messages.

One possible housing solution for California would be for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide trailers for people to live in while their homes are being rebuilt.

For now, authorities are focused on providing relief.

“This is a tremendous strain in an already difficult situation,” said Shawn Boyd, a spokesman for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Realtor takes heat for using partially clothed models in ads to attract home buyers

A Houston-area Realtor’s use of half-naked models to draw attention to a hard-to-sell property has attracted a number of complaints about the risque content.

Kristin Gyldenege launched the marketing tactic after her client’s three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the Houston suburb of Conroe sat on the market for 40 days with no offers, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Kristin Gyldenege launched the marketing tactic after her client’s three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the Houston suburb of Conroe sat on the market for 40 days with no offers. (Kristin Gyldenege)

To appeal to potential buyers, Gyldenege took photos of partially-clothed male and female models performing everyday household tasks – such as cooking or changing a light bulb — and uploaded them to HAR.com, a Texas real estate website.

Within the first 24 hours, the listing had been viewed 20,000 times, compared to fewer than 1,000 before.

She told Fox News: "Of course we needed to show off their amazing bodies and we all know that sex sells so it needed to be sexy but believable.  Something someone could see themselves in or ASPIRE to see themselves in." (Kristin Gyldenege)

Gyldenege, who calls herself 'The Potty Mouthed Agent', told Fox News: "After 40 days on the market and several open houses we still weren't getting traffic so I had an idea. I wanted to show a young couple enjoying the home they just bought. I knew I wanted to appeal to twenty and thirty-somethings, first time home buyers. I also knew using just regular people would not get the attention it deserved so I recruited two fitness models and posed them throughout the home.

"Of course we needed to show off their amazing bodies and we all know that sex sells so it needed to be sexy but believable.  Something someone could see themselves in or ASPIRE to see themselves in.  I shot the pictures Sunday morning and posted them Sunday afternoon, but Sunday night it had gone viral and by Monday morning the pictures had been removed due to HAR receiving over 100 complaints. Success!

"The home that got 180 views in all of October….has now been viewed almost 10k times in less than a week, and that is just on HAR site.

However, not everyone was a fan of Gyldenege’s advertising campaign. The site removed the photos after receiving around 100 complaints. (Kristin Gyldenege)

"You see I knew there was going to be controversy. I knew there were haters. I experienced it the first time I went viral with stuffy old school agents saying I was "unprofessional", "tacky", and a "disgrace to the profession".

"I know better.  Our industry is changing quickly. The younger generations decided years ago they hate Realtors. They hate the concept. They think they are fake AF and do not need them. So they found ways to avoid us. They found ways to sell their own home. Agents are constantly on edge fearing society is replacing us and we will all be out of jobs soon….and in some way they are right. If you think all a real estate agent brings to the table is take pictures of a house and list it on the internet, you can't see justifying not doing it yourself. What agents are forgetting is we are a service. We must pull out all stops and do whatever it takes to make sure our clients walk away happy. It's our duty."

However, not everyone was a fan of Gyldenege’s advertising campaign. The site removed the photos after receiving around 100 complaints.

Other listing services still have the photos, she said, adding that she expected some backlash. The homeowner approved the idea, she said.

"In the end, that's what matters —  doing what's best for my client," she said.

As of Wednesday, Gyldenege had still not received any serious offers for the home.

"[Potential buyers] may not look like [the models]," she said, "but if they think they could look like that in this house, they would be more attracted to at least see it."