MiraCosta College in Oceanside. Photo via miracosta.edu

MiraCosta College will begin a free program this fall for a certificate of completion in affordable housing management, officials announced Wednesday.

The number of affordable housing units built in California in 2021 increased by 43% over the previous year, according to the 2022 California Housing Partnership’s annual Affordable Housing Needs Report released Wednesday.

“We have heard from our members who build affordable housing that there is a clear need for staff to manage and maintain these homes,” said Stephen Russell, president and CEO of the San Diego Housing Federation. “These are good paying jobs that benefit the communities that need career opportunities the most.

“This study demonstrates the value of the MiraCosta College certificate program,” he added. “While it is good news that the number of homes built for those in need went up, we have a long way to go before we meet demand.”

According to the report, the San Diego region needs to build an additional 171,685 units by 2029 in order to meet its needs. At the same time, in San Diego the income needed to be able to pay the average asking rent as an “affordable” percentage went up 20% to $7,510 per month last year.

MiraCosta’s certificate program is a collaboration between the college’s Short Term Career Preparation and the San Diego Housing Federation. The SDHF plans to offer four informational sessions throughout the county about the program. According to the college, the program will target traditionally underserved communities for prospective students who can utilize the program to build a career that will have a positive impact in their neighborhood.

Erica Duran, chair of the noncredit and short-term career preparation program at the college, said there is a huge demand for property managers, especially those who have formal training for the job.

Two four-week courses, both offered for free, are required to obtain a certificate. Each course will be limited to 20 students, so learners can complete the certificate as a cohort.

The first course, Introduction to Affordable Housing Management, introduces students to property management and leadership with an emphasis on affordable housing and multi-family properties. Students will learn about the laws and regulations governing affordable housing. They will complete course work and activities modeling real-world scenarios and will learn from current and former industry professionals serving as volunteer mentors.

The second course, Emerging Leaders in Affordable Housing Management, expands on the skills from the first course. It prepares students to complete financial reports and documents needed by property managers and to develop effective relationships with various stakeholders. Each student will also be partnered with a mentor from the industry who will help them to develop advanced leadership and problem-solving strategies.

In spring 2023, MiraCosta will offer free tuition to up to 40 students from the classes to continue and complete three real estate exam preparation courses in community education.

–City News Service