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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Fillmore

Locals Disagree on Home Price Targets

March 27, 2000|TRACI ISAACS

Suggestions about setting new home prices above $250,000 have drawn criticism in Fillmore.

"Are we telling poor people they can't live here?" Christine Johnston, a local doctor, said at a City Council meeting last week.

Most residents here have blue-collar or clerical jobs, make less than other workers in the county and pay an average of about $146,000 for their homes, according to county figures.

Fillmore benefits by raising those numbers, said Councilman Roger Campbell, because wealthier people have more money to spend around town.

State housing rules say cities must build a certain number of homes to accommodate their fair share of growth, said Kevin McSweeney, a city planner.

The Southern California Assn. of Governments dictates the numbers. Failure to meet the numbers puts grant money as risk.

Recent mandates for Fillmore were 761 homes by 2005. Of that number, 233 are reserved for low- and very-low-income residents.

But McSweeney said 55% of homes already fall into the lower-income category.

"With a mixture of high-, low- and medium-income, we move toward a balanced city that can fend for itself," McSweeney said.

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