Ventura County Forecast | Topics Include Possible Recession and Housing Solutions



CERF will share its once-a-year Ventura County forecast during a seminar from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Serra Center.

Executive Director Matthew Fienup will present the county’s forecast. Just-released gross domestic product data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that Ventura County’s economy contracted by almost 3 percent last year. The new data could indicate that the county suffered a significant recession in 2016 and will have a significant negative impact on the forecast.

Matthew Fienup, Photo by Brian Stethem

CERF asserts that Ventura County’s housing affordability crisis plays a major role in the area’s economic decline. Fienup and other speakers will focus on causes of the crisis, the effect on the county’s economy, and creative solutions that hold promise for the region.

Fienup is an expert on the economics of land use, including issues surrounding urban growth restriction, and environmental markets. His research examines the unintended consequences of environmental policies. He is leading an effort to create a local market-based land-use planning tool called transferable development rights. This would allow farmers to sell the rights to develop their land and enable developers to build taller and denser projects while permanently preserving farmland and open space.

John Krist, CEO of the Ventura County Farm Bureau, will discuss how opposite sides can find common ground in conflicts over land use and natural resources. He will touch on his nationwide study of such collaborative resolutions. The Society of Professional Journalists awarded the former journalist a Pulliam Editorial Writing Fellowship to support the research. His report, “Seeking Common Ground,” won a Best of the West Award in natural resources and environmental reporting.

Billy Chun, deputy mayor of economic development for the city of Los Angeles, will talk about L.A.’s strategy to boost its economy and jobs while increasing its housing base. In his 18-year career, Chun has been involved in a broad range of economic development projects and investment deals in real estate and technology.

CERF provides county, state and national forecasts for government, business and nonprofit leaders. NABE, The Economist and CNN have included CERF forecasters in their surveys on economic policies and outlooks, home prices and jobs.


To register, visit clucerf.org. Registration fees, which include lunch and access to the full forecast, are $65 in advance and $75 at the door. For more information, contact Karen Gauthier at 805-493-3668 or kgauthier@callutheran.edu.


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