“I LOVE MY JOB, AND WHEN I THINK ABOUT LEAVING IT BREAKS MY HEART, BECAUSE CALIFORNIA NEEDS MORE POEPLE TO FIX THE HOUSING PROBLEM."
I work in the Transactions unit in the Loan Closing Branch at the California Department of Housing and Community Development (CDHCD) as a Home Representative II. We loan money to nonprofit developers who build affordable housing. We move the incoming applications for affordable housing funds through the pipeline to the nonprofit developer so they can start construction projects. It’s very complicated and requires knowledge of commercial real estate law. But we don’t have enough staff to work through the underwriting, review, and analysis process to award the funds because we aren’t paid enough to attract qualified candidates.
I started with the State 7 years ago at such a low salary that I had to work 3 other part-time jobs to get by. It’s taken until now to get in a better place financially, but I can only afford my rent because I’m single with no children. I don’t know how a single parent makes it.
Because of the staff shortages, the process to close loans, award grants, and get the planning and construction work started is delayed. This adds time, which also means added expense. So, we’re building less housing at a slower rate to house our homeless population, and it’s costing taxpayers more. All because the State’s pay rate is so low.
For a long time, I had 3 staff members doing the work of 5. But instead of hiring more people, management maintained the status quo. It was hard to take your breaks and even harder to take your lunch because the work never stopped. My health deteriorated by the week, and the stress got so bad I had to inquire about taking Family Medical Leave (FMLA) and seek medical evaluation. But nothing changed.
I love my job, and when I think about leaving it breaks my heart, because California needs more people working to fix the housing problem. Instead, they’re driving staff away. And I might be next.
– TRANSACTION UNIT REP / LOAN CLOSING
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (CDHCD)