There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether business leaders did enough to find an alternative to the City Council’s decision this fall to raise the fee it charges commercial developers to help build subsidized housing.
Those leaders are now collecting signatures to try to overturn the increase, but what they did over the last two years to find another option keeps coming up.
Those in favor of the increase have said opponents didn’t offer any other solutions that would help build more low-cost housing for qualified residents. Opponents (who’ve banded together as the “Jobs Coalition”) say they offered plenty of alternatives.
The disagreement is persistent as the issue moves toward a possible place on the June ballot, so we decided to look into two recent statements.
Statement: “That is why over the last two years our coalition put forward more than 20 alternative ways to fund subsidized housing and make it more affordable to build. Unfortunately, those ideas were resoundingly rejected in favor of this politically expedient jobs tax, which will damage our economy and drive businesses and jobs to other cities.” Jerry Sanders, CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said at a Dec. 27 news conference.
Determination: Mostly True
Support Independent Journalism Today
Affordable housing laws are a scam. This is just enabling people not to work. Pay people not to work, collect section 8 vouchers, ebt, reduced or free bus passes, discounted utilities, free cell phones, free health care, free education for your kids. It never ends.
Ah. Well, your callousness isn't unique. Let's see. How about this? When you find yourself working for ten dollars an hour and can prove how good you are at paying all the bills, including some of the highest rents found anywhere, then come back and explain how everybody else is so rotten and irresponsible. Okay? Until then, who needs ya?
The issue of funding affordable housing in San Diego has been kicked down the road since the Trust Fund was established back around 1990. At that time, I believe it included 30+ sources. The City Council, at the persuasion of downtown suits and other pillars of San Diego, whittled away at the sources until it became completely gutted. The article concentrates on just the past couple of years when in fact the issue is decades old.
Bottom line, the suits and other pillars of San Diego are disingenuous about adding to the sources of the fee. They despise the fee and nonprofit oriented affordable housing as a rouse of the state.
Now they have every right to their opinion but they need to be honest with the public instead of continuing to do the bidding of the same ol' suits that have run San Diego since the Pete Wilson era (and perhaps before). Ex Mayor Sanders went to several grand openings of affordable housing developments and extolled the virtues of the housing and the great need. However, he never championed any alternatives when in power.
What needs to happen is the following:
The Feds and State need to increase the tax credits available to those developers that have a legitimate affordable housing proposal in multifamily zoned site - to the extent that no local funds are needed to subsidize of "write down the cost" of the housing. In other words, with the demise of Redevelopment Agency funding, completely fund these projects with private tax credit investors and mortgage debt. Sanders and his band of chamber boys and girls would probably fly the flag because it would be developed solely with private capital
Needed affordable housing for working families, seniors and those with special needs would flourish without the need for any local tax/fee or other source of funding. Yet, the problem is that Sanders and his fellow political friends have created such a teet sucking state, that such an amount of tax credits would be fought tooth and nail just like the fees they currently debate.
How about getting government completely out of housing? The affordable housing scam impacts only a minute fraction of the unskilled and welfare feeders, the rest find a way to exist here so it's pretty clear it exists for the sake of government, bureaucracy and politics rather than for the sake of the people.
If it's so tough here for menial wage earners, try a tall glass of live where you can afford to live, rather than leeching off others. Plenty of parts of the country with sub $100k housing.
How 'bout you and everybody else stop applying your experience to everybody else's lives? What would you know about it, anyway? Opportunites for good jobs at good wages are very rare, and yet rents continue to rise, so much so that many, MANY people simply don't rent alone now- they live in packs and share the rent. I know scores of good people that have simply given up on having an apartment on their own. Do you really think that's a scam? Before you disparage everyone (which is typical of the dour and aloof here in this city), ASK THE PEOPLE THAT KNOW. Ask people that know about housing costs here, compared to wages here.
Or, better still, why don't you qualify your coldness by walking the walk? Live on a paltry wage, try and manage a decent life renting here, and then come back and tell everybody about your brilliant revelations. And don't forget there's a shortage of Velveeta cheese right now....
That might work if government would also get out of the way of developers and landlords who want to provide low cost housing.Streetsblog Capitol Hillhttp://dc.streetsblog.org/2013/09/16/apartment-blockers/Alan Durning is the executive director and founder of Sightline Institute, a think tank on sustainability issues in the Pacific Northwest. This article, originally posted on Sightline's blog, is #9 in their series, "Parking? Lots!" Have you ever watc...Is It Time to Bring Back the Boarding House?http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2013/07/it-time-bring-back-boarding-house/6236/Around the turn of the last century, American cities were full of housing options that are largely nonexistent today: tenements, boarding houses, rooming houses, flop houses, single-room occupancy buildings or SROs - all variations on the idea of sma...
Since Sam Hodgson’s brilliant expose’ of the actual cost of “affordable units” destroyed the myth that affordable housing is actually that, it appears some out of the box thinking is in order. How about this proposal for discussion:
1. Get rid of the housing commission.
2. Sell off all housing units owned and operated by the city in an open bidding process, with the proviso that buyers agree to rent them to people who qualify for subsidized housing for up to 8 years.
3. Provide vouchers of equivalent value to the extent of the current subsidy for a limited time, perhaps up to 3 years, after which the subsidy decreases 20% a year until it is gone after an additional 5 years.
Anyone who can’t get their act together in 8 years or less is entitled to a one way ticket to a lower cost area, perhaps in the Imperial Valley or maybe Mississippi.
In a Statistical Abstract of the United States with the national average of cost of living in cities being 100 the cost of living in San Diego is 132.8. In other parts of the country one lived in an apartment until they could save enough to make a down payment on a condo or home. What did we do here but permit developers to convert affordable apartment buildings into condos. How many people moved here that really couldn't afford to live here? How many scams of jobs are created here that don't pay wages that afford those workers to live here? Heaven forbid that we cause executives with multi million dollar salaries to pay their employees more or more taxes.
Sure, if you want to discourage business even more, tax it more.
San Diego - In Photos: Best and Worst U.S. Cities for Business 2013http://www.forbes.com/pictures/feji45fkee/san-diego/Survey grade: FWhy it's worst: Regulatory red tape and startup challenges both earned the sunny Southern California city an F grade from local owners. Best they had to say was that training and networking programs were OK, earning a C grade.Photo: Ge...
It's very simple, really. When wages do not in the slightest way relate to real costs and real economics, because of greed in management and corporate and landowner minds, we end up having these silly insoluble arguments. Rents here in San Diego are levied at a higher rate when compared to wages than almost anywhere. If business owners were a bit more responsible and paid workers even a MODEST or REALISTIC wage, rather than something insulting and vicious, something that is bound to guarantee a need for assistance, then we wouldn't be talking about this. There is no longer any resemblance between living costs and wages. I've never seen anything like it in my lifetime- it's like some sort of cannabalism.
Greed. Greed. It's tearing everything apart.
Again, it's cruel to send people elsewhere, away from their family and roots, because they have mental or physical conditions that can't be cured. It's not only cruel to them it's cruel to their loved ones. Do you want your grandmother, your sister, your friend banished far away because they're ill or simply incapable at handling life?
It's also cruel to turn them into a burden on another region of the country. This might be a nice idea in theory, but it breaks down in reality. Not to mention that the Imperial Valley or Mississippi will just send them back.
As for a voucher system: The current wait for a Section Eight housing voucher is 8-10 years. Why do you all think that's some great idea?
"It's also cruel to turn them into a burden on another region"
So it's not cruel to have them as a burden here?
Despite the pretend hand wringing and absolutely false charges of cruelty, people should live where they can afford to. I can't afford a house in LaJolla, should you be taxed to buy me one? No. Nor should I be taxed to subsidize people who want to live in SD at a higher standard than they can afford.
There are perfectly acceptable and not at all cruel places to live that are a fraction of what it costs to live here, and if that is what you can afford then that is what you can afford. You have no right to selfishly leech off of others simply to live where you want to but can't afford to.
Do you count the disabled among those "who can’t get their act together in 8 years or less"?
Not every disabled person -- particularly the mentally disabled -- can hold down a job or improve in eight years or less. Will power does not fix schizophrenia, OCD or depression, and medication/therapy may do little to help. Yet these people are often not ill enough to be committed. So they need housing and they need advocates to help them navigate a system that's complicated enough for those who aren't mentally ill.
As for the idea of abandoning the disabled who have roots here to another region or state, well, that's just cruel.
If it were just that group Randy. Its not.
The linkage fee is a shakedown and as Bill pointed out Affordable housing in this town is an oxymoron.
Bill is right. We as a city need to get out of this housing Slush fund and set up a voucher system
San Diego is an expensive region. If it's cheaper to treat people somewhere else, why not send them there?